The National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust, the district social welfare office (DSWO) and police in Neno have embarked on a campaign to raise awareness on the evils of gender-based violence and sexual violence against girls.
The awareness campaign was necessitated by an attempted rape on two girls by gulewamkulu in the area of Group Village Head (GVH) Dzomodya in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mlauli last week.
The girls were returning from school when they were attacked by the gulewamkulu.
Neno Nice officer Auscar Nkhoma said in a telephone interview that it is “within our scope of work as a governance promotion organisation to complement government efforts in promoting the rights of girls and the marginalised.”
Nkhoma said his office intervened after noting that there was silence from the communities and duty-bearers at grass roots.
“We believe it is equally our responsibility to promote gender equality and girl education by protecting them from any sort of abuse and violence. We want to empower communities to have a voice in all issues that affects their public life,” said Nkhoma.
He said Nice intervention had yielded the desired results as culprits were traced, arrested and charged with attempted rape.
“They are currently under custody. We expect that they would be appearing before the courts anytime soon. We have since asked traditional and cultural leaders to desist from using their beliefs and norms to violate people’s rights,” he narrated.
Group Village Head Dzomodya said he will liaise with other traditional leaders to abolish social and cultural practices that promote gender-based violence in the area.