Group village head (GVH) Nsomba of Sub Traditional Authority (ST/A) Ndanga in Mulanje says courts should continue giving stiff punishments to leaders who defile children.
The chief said this on Wednesday in Mulanje in reaction to March 29 sentencing of village head Makaniko to 14 years imprisonment for defiling a 12-year-old girl.
The court heard that on February 16 2019 the victim was taking care of her parents’ goats in one of the forested areas where the chief defiled her and warned her not to tell anyone, but her mother noticed that she was struggling to walk and upon interrogation, she revealed the ordeal.
GVH Nsomba said the community, with knowledge communities acquired from Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco) Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) project, supported by Global Fund, hunted down the chief and handed him over to police.
“Leaders are there to protect and not abuse children; hence, stiff punishments are needed to end the malpractice,” he said.
Mulanje district social welfare officer Jane Kajombo challenged the communities to continue exposing abusive leaders.
On his part, Yoneco executive director MacBain Mkandawire commended the Judiciary for good progress in handling defilement cases.
“The sentence will be a lesson to other leaders with similar [abusive] intentions,” he said.