Child protection players in Nkhata Bay have expressed worry with the stalling of defilement cases in the district.
The district’s child magistrate Anthony Banda said 10 defilement cases are hanging because suspects ran away either to South Africa or Tanzania.
He said this on Friday during a technical working group (TWG) quarterly review meeting held at Nkhata Bay District Council with funding from United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
“There is a tendency in Nkhata Bay to shield perpetrators and if they have been discovered and reported to relevant authorities, the suspects run away to either South Africa or Tanzania,” he said.
Banda said in some instances, parents of the accused and victims agree privately to compensate each other. He said this is not healthy because the victim is not part of the agreement.
“We also experience a lot of defilement cases being withdrawn by the parents of the victims after they have discussed the issue out of court. This is hindering efforts to protect the girl child,” he said.
Nkhata Bay district child protection focal person Patricia Mudindo expressed concern with the increase of defilement cases in the district.
“Fifteen defilement cases were reported between July and October 2016. But many cases go unreported which is not good to the girl child,” she said.
Mudindo appealed to communities to report defilement cases to relevant authorities.