By Fostina Mkandawire
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on Friday condemned all forms of abuse perpetrated towards children in the country, saying rape of children is satanic and diabolical.
Chakwera was speaking when he presided over the commemoration of World Children’s Day at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
During the commemoration, the president answered questions from children on issues that affect them.
He said inhumane cases of rape that have flooded the country’s districts have to be dealt with once and for all.
Chakwera was responding to a question from one of the children, who asked him on steps that his government is taking to protect children from rapists and how it intends to uphold laws that safeguard their rights.
The president answered the question with a stern warning going to everyone who will break the law, saying his government will not sit back and watch people living lawlessly and taking matters into their own hands.
“Raping children is satanic and diabolic, everyone involved in such acts is not human and will face the arm of the law,” he said.
He assured the girls that everyone who will abuse them will face the arm of the law and that he, as the country’s president, will not tolerate any abuse.
The Head of State said some people have resorted to live like wild animals without laws and fear of their fellow humans.
Malawi is part of several international conventions and treaties that safeguard the rights of children, hence the need for everyone in the country to protect children.
The president was also asked what his government is doing to ensure that the children’s parliament is found in all districts of the country.
He responded by expressing the importance of children’s participation in all decision-making processes being upheld at all levels.
Chakwera, therefore, instructed the Minister of Gender to see to it that these parliaments are established across the country so that children’s views should be heard.
UNICEF Country Representative, Rudolf Shwenk, said the children’s dialogue with the President was an opportunity to follow up on the commitments made by the Government of Malawi to safeguard child rights and highlight new challenges that children are facing due to COVID-19.
“The day aims to highlight critical issues affecting children’s lives and support the rights of children and young people as advocates for their rights,” he said.
Over 60 children and young people from across Malawi had an interactive dialogue with the President on the topic “Reimagining a future for every child.”
The event was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Development and Social Welfare in coordination with UNICEF and other rights organisations to commemorate World Children’s Day.
World Children’s Day is a global day of action for children and by children which takes place every year on November 20.