In the ongoing battle against the escalating rates of child abuse in Malawi, Child Rights Activist Amos Chibwana is championing a transformative approach, emphasizing the necessity of a collective mindset change throughout the nation.
Chibwana underscores that relying solely on law enforcement’s stringent measures is insufficient to serve as catalysts for societal development.
Instead, he advocates for a broader cultural shift to effectively address the root causes of child abuse.
Echoing this sentiment, fellow activist Memory Ngosi emphasizes the pivotal role that political leaders must play in proactively addressing the issue.
Ngosi also calls for a collective effort among men to speak out against such vices within their communities.
Additionally, Ngosi suggests the implementation of a comprehensive Child Protection Policy in all schools, urging teachers to sign on to this commitment.
She further proposes the introduction of educational programs designed to empower girls, providing them with the tools to resist and report instances of abuse.
This call for change comes in the wake of a recent legal development, where Principal Resident Magistrate Roderick Michongwe sentenced a 47-year-old primary school teacher, Drunken Jonas, to 16 years behind bars.
Jonas was found guilty of raping a female student under the false promise of writing her Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations (MANEB) on her behalf.
Hastings Chigalu, the Lilongwe Police Publicist, reveals that Jonas exploited the vulnerability of the orphaned victim, leading to the severe penalty.
Chigalu notes that this case highlights the pressing need for a broader societal transformation to protect the rights and well-being of children.
It is worth noting that State President Lazarus Chakwera has previously taken steps to address child abuse by signing a law stipulating life imprisonment for those convicted of raping children under the age of one.
By Romeo Umali