A survey conducted by Nsanje District Chief Forum instituted by a Non-Governmental Organization, Citizen Alliance has revealed that pepertrators of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the district are not given stiffer punishment to deter other would be offenders.
Speaking when presenting their findings from a seven months period research to Citizen Alliance and Nsanje District council, Senior Chief Tengani who represented all the nine traditional leaders said some sentences impossed to GBV offenders like that of defilement, rape and incest were questionable.
Said the Senior Chief: “We have discovered that others are slapped for only eight years jail term for cases like defilement which is unfair. We would have loved if sentences for cases of that nature could be more than that, at least no less than twenty years could be better for us chiefs.
“Another issue that worried us is the time frame taken to conclude cases. If we are taking more time to concluded cases, we are compromising justice in many ways,” he said
Concurring with Senior Chief Tengani, Senior Chief Malemia said some findings have exposed that other GBV cases like child marriages are perpetrated by some traditional leaders.
He said the research also revealed that people of Nsanje North in the area of Senior Mlolo do not have a court and police.
“I hope Citizen Alliance and our council will join hands to robby for these two precious institutions in the area where there is lawlessness.
“This is the only way we can curb GBV in the district only if Mlolo is being covered by providing a court with a resident magistrate and a police station with more officers,” he stated.
Responding to the revelations, Nsanje district magistrate, Watson Mankhanamba said they impose sentences according to their ranks but was quick to say that other sentences are enhanced by the High Court judges after reviewing the cases in question.
Citizen Alliance is implementing a Spotlight Initiative Program dubbed ‘Eliminating Gender Based Violence and Harmful Cultural Practices’ by strengthening institutions in the fight against GBV in Nsanje district with money amounting to K6.5 million from the European Union.