By Synd Kalimbuka
The Commissioner of Police responsible for Eastern Region Arlene Baluwa has called on chiefs in the region to take a leading role in the fight against gender based violence (GBV).
Baluwa made the call on Thursday December 17, 2020 at a Crime Prevention meeting held at Paramount Chief Kawinga’s Headquarters in Machinga district.
She said gender based violence cases especially defilement cases are on the increase in the region.
“From January to November this year the region registered a total of 377 defilement cases as compared to 256 registered over the same period in 2019 with Mangochi registering 78.3% increase followed by Machinga which is at 56 .6% increase, ” Baluwa said.
The Commissioner further said it is unfortunate that most of the cases are being perpetrated by close relatives who are supposed to be their guardian angels.
She therefore asked traditional leaders to be at the forefront in the fight against all forms of violence by sensitizing their people to the dangers of gender based violence and reporting perpetrators to the police.
In his remarks, Paramount Chief Kawinga thanked the Police for organizing the meeting.
He said chiefs are custodians of culture and it is very easy to deal with all forms of gender based violence through them as they live together with both the victims and the perpetrators.
He added chiefs under Kawinga Education zone have already started the fight against gender based violence as this year alone, they have terminated a total of 102 child marriages.
He therefore assured the Police that he will take the message to his subjects and very soon, cases of gender based violence will be water under the bridge.
Over 200 chiefs including Senior Chief Nkoola, Traditional Authority Kapoloma and Sub Traditional Authority Mizinga attended the meeting.
Some of the issues highlighted included protection of people with albinism, victimization of the elderly on witchcraft accusations, security during the festive season and safety measures during this rainy season.