Civil society organisations (CSOs), religious leaders and child rights campaigners in Karonga have formed a task force to bring to book a man suspected of abducting and defiling a 16-year-old girl.
The campaigners also want the police to include on his charge sheet an offence of recording and distributing a minor’s pornographic video which attracts a fine of K10 million and a 15-year jail sentence if found guilty.
In an interview, the group’s vice-chairperson Robert Silungwesaid they launched the campaign after noting that two weeks after the incident was reported, the law enforcers are yet to arrest the suspect.
“We want the man [a teacher]to be smoked out from his hideout with the minor and be charged with abduction, defilement, photographing and sharing of pornographic video that went viral,” he said.
Silungwe said they were concerned with the girl’s safety.
Karonga district gender officer Martha Kalumbi and social welfare officer Atupele Mwalweni, who have joined the task force, asked stakeholders to speak with one voice to bring the suspect to book.
Foundation for Children’s Rights executive director Jenipher Mkandawire said she joined the campaign to ensure the case should not die naturally.
“Child abuse perpetrators are not afraid because they think they can buy justice. The man should be tried to show that we are serious with the fight against child abuse,” she said.
Karonga Police Station officer-in-charge Tiyese Chiumbuzo said they have opened a case of abduction and defilement for the accused.
“Tracing the whereabouts of the girl and man are underway,” he said.
In a separate Interview yesterday, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati commended the campaigners for the initiative