One of the country's influential traditional leaders says people must be vigilant against rapists and defilers in a bid to protect women and girls from harm.
Senior Chief, Inkosi Mtwalo of Mzimba District in northern Malawi, has urged his subjects to wage a heedful combat against Rapists and Defilers in the catchment areas of his terrains in a bid to protect women and girls and consequently create a safe haven for everyone.
Inkosi Mtwalo speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times Monday at his Ezondweni headquarters on the sidelines of community awareness meetings on eradicating sexual abuse against girls and women said: "At each and given opportunity we need to sensitise the masses on efforts Aimee at rooting out cases of sexual abuse among girls and women. During funerals, development meetings chiefs need to spread the messages."
The call to wage war against Rapist and Defilers comes against a backdrop of increasing cases of sexual assaults in Mzimba district.
The Senior Chief, therefore, challenged village headmen and women and group village chiefs to ensure that all cases of sexual assault and battery are timely reported to relevant authorities so as to ensure that all perpetrators of this 'sick crime' are brought to justice.
Mtwalo urged the chiefs to play a leading role in civic educating the masses in creating a conducive environment where girls would grow and develop to their full potential.
Life Concern Organisation (LICO) Executive Director Peter Gondwe said his organisation is implementing a three year project on sexual abuse in Rumphi and Mzimba districts in the northern region.
Gondwe said: "It's a pity that young girls are being defiled within the communities that were supposed to provide them safety and protection."
To this end, Gondwe said his organisation would among other things, build capacity for all stakeholders working on protecting children's rights.
The eradicating sexual abuse project is being bankrolled by Egmont Trust, a UK based Non-governmental Organisation to the tune of K190 million.