Malawi’s prisons have over 2100 inmates who are serving jail terms for raping children, and prison authorities say the number of child rapists is way higher than it was 11 years ago.
This was disclosed on Thursday during a district coordination meeting on child justice which was held at Thyolo magistrate court by the National Child Justice Forum aimed at discussing issues pertaining to sexual gender based violence and highlighting court circuits standards.
In his presentation, Joseph Winiko from National Prison Headquarters said by July 2020, Malawi prisons had over 2000 inmates convicted of child rape.
“Statistically, in 2009, our prisons here in Malawi had 260 inmates, representing 2.6%, out of which 183 inmates were serving terms for defilement while 77 inmates in for rape
“While by July 2020, 2155 inmates are in for defilement cases only, whereas 192 inmates for rape cases, representing 21%. So you can see from 2.6% to 21%, this is a clear indication that defilement and rape cases are increasing,” said
He further added that in rape and defilement cases, 77% of offenders are between 22-55 ag.
“We categorised the offenders into three groups; there are young offenders whom we range them from 18-21 of age, then there is adult group ranging from 22-55. Finally, we have elders category ranging from 56 and above. So 77% of these cases are done by adults and 16% by young offenders while 7% by elders,” said Winiko.
Senior court clerk for Thyolo magistrate David Kapoloma concurred with Winiko saying as Thyolo district they record 50-70 defilement cases per year and 5-10 rape cases per year, adding that rape cases are not being reported as victims feel shy to disclose.
During the meeting, government authorities, NGOs, Religious leaders and other stakeholders were urged to unite in the fight against malpractice of sexual gender based violence in order to protect girl child and women.