Minister of Gender and Community Services, Patricia Kaliati, has called upon authorities to ensure that there is no case of Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women and children that ends up in out of court settlements.
She made the remarks Thursday at Mitundu when she visited a 6 year old boy battling severe wounds on his mouth and arms, after his mother burned him using cooking stones popularly known as ‘mafuwa’.
The woman earlier this week got angry with the boy when he had eaten soya pieces without permission and scalded him as a punishment.
“It is a shame that in this era, a woman can treat her own child like that, leaving the child in great unbearable pains. This is uncalled for. But we are happy that the suspect is currently in police custody for the law to take its course,” she said.
However, Kaliati, was dismayed with reports that there are high numbers of rape and defilement cases around the area, at times even involving children as young as two years old.
To add salt to injury, Kaliati was furious to learn that some of these cases are settled out of court as at times they involve relatives of the victims, who connive to settle the cases within the family circles, and walk away scot-free.
“This is sad and unacceptable under any circumstances. Government is busy making legislations to combat GBV and there is no room for any case, much worse involving minors, to be settled outside the formal judicial system.
“Any case that was settled out of the courts, either form here or any part of this country must be followed up and perpetrators must be brought to book,” she said.
Kaliati said it is high time traditional leaders are also empowered with the law so that they are in the forefront fighting GBV.
Through her department, she donated various items like soap and assorted foodstuffs to the child in order to ease some of the challenges he is facing.
In his remarks, Dr Anthony Chafunya, in charge of Mitundu Community Hospital said the boy is currently receiving treatment at the facility and is showing promises of a full recovery.
However, he said, there is need for much to be done in the area as the hospital receives around 4 cases of rape and defilement per week, which he said was alarming.
“We, however, work hand in hand with the police that whenever we receive such cases, we do our part in helping the victims and also inform our colleagues so that they also do their job,‚ÄĚ he said.
Chairperson for Lilongwe District Council, Luciano Botoman, said they will continue to work with the Ministry of Gender to make sure issues of GBV are put to rest in the district.
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