Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa has said despite that Malawi provides remedies against sexual assault and Gender Based Violence (GBV) there is more to be done within the justice system if the country is to be successful in fighting the continued rape cases.

Nankhumwa said this in a press statement seen by Face of Malawi reporter in which he stressed that there is a need to amend the laws to provide for more stringent measures against sex offenders “which would include increased punishment for convicts such as mandatory death penalty for those convicted of raping underage girls.”

Quoting Section 133 of the Penal Code, which deals with sexual assault, Nankhumwa said the matter of rape and all related statutes must be amended as a matter of urgency.

“Death sentence must be non-negotiable for rapists of girls less than 16 years and that the minimum punishment in rape cases of women must be increased to rigorous imprisonment of 30 years imprisonment without parole,” Nankhumwa said.

In his capacity as the Leader of Opposition, Nankhumwa called on government and all relevant stakeholders, especially the police and judiciary to explore and facilitate measures for speedy investigations and trial of rape, defilement and GBV cases.

“I suggest that the time limit for investigation of such cases must be within one month and that the deadline for completion of trial in such cases should be within one month. I also wish to suggest that the disposal of appeals in sexual offence cases must be within a period of two months,” he said.

The call has been made as the world is commemorating 16 days of activism aimed at ending Gender Based Violence against women and girls, adding to that for the past months Malawi has registered a surge of rape and defilement cases.

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