Women across the northern region are being sexually abused by Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) officials for them to buy maize at Admarc depots, Malawi24 has learnt.
It has been observed that most of them have to leave their houses at midnight and head to Admarc depots with the hope that they will access maize at a cheaper price.
It is this very same time when some men with excessive libido highjack them on their way to the depot and forcefully rape them.
“When we reach at the depot around 2 am, some Admarc officials also find chance to ask us to sleep with them for them to make us access the maize easily,” said a woman at one Admarc selling point in Mzimba.
It becomes hard for these women to deny such requests because they realize that without accepting the men’s demands, they may go home empty handed.
Another woman claimed to have seen her friend being coaxed to sleep with a man who claimed to be an Admarc employee in Rumphi.
“They say there is nothing for free these days thus for them to help you fast, you need to undress for them. This hunger is really killing our dignity,” she said.
This is not strange to the people who experienced hunger in previous years and were spending their nights at Admarc depots in Mzuzu. They said that one woman was impregnated by a man who claimed to be working for Admarc in the city.
“It’s at least good this year but in 2012 a certain woman was impregnated by a man who claimed to be working for Admarc at Bishop Depot,” said Martha Mzumara.
Admarc officials across the region refused to speak to our reporter saying they do not comment on such matters.
However, minister of information Jappie Mhango recently paid a surprise visit to some depots across Mzimba where related cases were reported and promised that government was to act on the matter soon.
He said: “We will make sure these women buy maize in good time to avoid such violations. We hear some officials beat up these women, as government we will not condone the malpractice.”