Rumphi Police in conjunction with a team from National Police Headquarters earlier this week engaged Senior Chief Mwankhunikira and Chief Mwahenga as well community members in a continued effort towards fighting against defilement and child marriages.
The meetings that were held on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at Chinyolo and Mhuju trading centers.
In his remarks during the two separate occasions, Superintendent Andrew Bokosi who is the National Child Protection Desk Officer expressed worry over increased cases of defilement in the country, saying such is very detrimental to the development of the society.
Bokosi then urged chiefs and community policing members to work jointly with police to uproot aggravating factors that are contributing towards the vice.
“Early this year we were hit hard by Covid-19 that led to closure of schools and in turn, child marriages skyrocketed, followed by defilement, a thing which as law enforcers cannot condone,” remarked Bokosi.
Assistant Superintendent Raphael Mpophiwa who is the National Crime Prevention and Partnership Desk Officer, gave statistics on the trends of defilement cases reported to police saying, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, a total of 1426, 1618 and 2053 were recorded respectively which shows that the problem is serious and need serious action.
Mpophiwa further expatiated that research has established that most of perpetrators of defilement are those close to the victim such as step parents, uncle and neighbors. He therefore urged members to have a look out on the malpractice.
Senior Chief Mwankhunikira vowed to work with police to fight child marriages and defilement cases in his area. Mwankhunikira further asked for stiffer punishment to perpetrators of defilement. He further warned village headmen who conceal information on defilement saying if found they will be dethroned forthwith.
Superintendent Robert Mwangonde who represented Officer in-Charge for Rumphi police thanked chiefs and officers from National Headquarters for the seminar saying such invigorates communities to act with speed on said issues.
In all sessions, participants admitted that child marriages and defilement are bad to society and then agreed to work with police in fighting these malpractices.
At the end, Mkombezi Community Policing Committee was given reflective jackets.