By Sydney Chaima
Ntchisi, September 10, Mana: Community members around Traditional Authority (TA) Chikho in Ntchisi have disclosed that the absence of a Police Unit in the area was fueling the increase in cases of child marriages and Gender Based Violence (GBV).
This was disclosed at a meeting Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) had with Community and Faith leaders under TA Chikho in the district.
The Communities said in the absence of the Police Unit has become a problemfor them to report cases of GBV as well as child marriages because the nearest Police Unit is in Kasakula which is a long distance from the area.
Village Headman (VH) Kachedwa, attest that indeed cases of GBV go unreported due to lack of a Police Unit in the area.
He said due to long distances they cover to visit Ntchisi Police Station to report cases,his subjects end up not reporting such cases after thinking of the distance they have to cover to the nearest police unit.
“Perpetrators of the seacts are not apprehended because most cases are not reported, when communities see that those involved are not taken to task or not arrested it makes matters worse, because they feel the Police are not doing their job,” Kachedwa said.
He said there was need for both Police and the Communities to work hand in hand if cases of this nature are to be reduced.
“We urge the Police to help us with a Police Unit as it is with our colleagues from TA Kasakula. We have been engaging them on this for some time now,” the VH claimed.
He said they have not received a tangible response from the Police adding that they would not get tired of asking for a Police Unit until they get one.
Ntchisi Police Station Community Policing Coordinator, Inspector Lloyd Maida asked the communities to organize themselves and through their Ward Councillors or Member of Parliament they could ask the Council to assist them to construct the Police Unit.
“Nowadays, the community has a role to play if they need a Police Unit, they have to make sure they have built the facility on their own and or any other means, wecan only guide them with the design and also assist them with human resource,” he explained.
Maida added that, “This is what people from the area have to do but otherwise our assessment shows that they indeed qualify to have a Police Unit.”
The EAM believes that there are a lot of cases of child marriages and GBV that have gone unreported in TA Chikho since schools were closed even though only three cases are the ones that are in the Police books.