Rumphi, August 1, Mana: Rumphi District has recorded a sharp increase in defilement cases from 13 between January and June, 2020 to 25 in the same period in 2021, representing an increase of 92.3 percent.
Rumphi Police Officer-In-Charge, Gerald Chiwanda, has attributed the development to a number of factors.
“According to our findings, there are different factors which fuel defilement. For example, there are still some people out there who believe that having sex with a child cures an illness or makes one rich.
Poverty is another factor. Some parents marry off their young girls to men who are better off in terms of financial standing to solve their household economic challenges besides irresponsible alcohol consumption and drug abuse,” said Chiwanda.
He added that strained relationship between the police and the public in the recent past made the law enforcers’ work difficult.
Chiwanda said among other interventions to address the situation, police will be revamping community policing structures and enhancing awareness campaigns against women and girls’ rights abuse.
“We will also be engaging traditional leaders on the importance of formulating by-laws which will deter parents from marrying off young girls,” he said.
Youth Network and Counselling (YONECO) District Manager for Rumphi, George Mlowoko, attributed the increase in reported defilement cases to improved collaboration amongst police, health and social workers among others.
He said defilement cases have always been high in the district only that they were not being properly reported to relevant authorities.
“YONECO has since embarked on an intensified awareness campaign to sensitize the communities on the same,” said Mlowoko.