Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Karonga on Monday took to the street before presenting a petition to the district commissioner (DC) demanding the arrest of a man suspected of defiling a 16-year-old girl.
The development comes two weeks after CSOs, government officials and religious leaders engaged the police for allegedly delaying to arrest the suspect.
Ironically, police officers were among the marchers who carried placards and sang songs demanding justice on the issue.
The petition, signed by about 10 CSO leaders, demands that security agents, and the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare join hands and ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of the suspect.
Reads the petition in part: “Knowing that the alleged defiler in question is a habitual expert in the devilish act of defiling minors in Karonga and that his arrest is surprisingly taking ages, we call upon all security organs and other stakeholders to join hands to ensure that the perpetrator, who is at large, is arrested.”
The petition also demands an amendment of the suspect’s charge sheet to include abduction and human trafficking charges.
In an interview after presenting the petition, the task force’s chairperson Christobel Munthali said they expected that relevant authorities to address their concerns to safeguard the rights of minors in the district.
On his part, KarongaDC Paul Kalilombe assured the concerned residents that his office will forward the petition to relevant authorities.
Karonga Police Station officer Samuel Phokeya declined to speak to the media.