Assistant social welfare officer at the one-stop-centre at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre, Chikumbutso Salifu, has said cases of violence against women and child rape are being delayed in the country’s courts.
Salifu said the delays are discouraging to parents, victims as well as employees at the centres who work to see justice prevail.
He said: “It is really [negatively] impacting our work because as a committed team, we would like to see all cases coming to a close.”
Salifu said as a one-stop-centre, they have tried their best to provide services to the public.
He said: “We have tried our best to handle most of the cases we are receiving here. This year, we received about 172 cases of which 162 were authentic cases where abuse really took place.”
Salifu said according to their statistics, most of the cases they handle are from high density areas.
He said: “Our statistics show that most cases are from high density areas like Bangwe, Ndirande and Machinjiri.
“Children are left unattended because parents are busy with the chores and businesses to fend for large families from meagre resources. Sometimes parents send children to markets at night where they meet perpetrators of abuse.”
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula said no matter how long it takes, cases taken to will be concluded.
He said it is possible that parties involved in the cases do not follow up their cases, hence, adding to the stalled cases.
Said Mvula: “But all in all we will try our best to hear all the cases and deliver judgment which is fair to both parties. If either party is not satisfied they have the right to appeal.”