Ntchisi, Ignorance on the law, where sleeping with a minor (under 18) is regarded as defilement, has put a lot of men in Ntchisi behind bars, claiming they only know rape or defilement as forced sex.
Talking to the Malawi News Agency on Thursday, Sergeant Mwai Mgombe, of Ntchisi Police, Victim Support Unit (VSU) said a number of men who are arrested on defilement in the district did not necessarily engage in forced sex but were in love with underage.
“We have several of such cases, for instance this May only we registered four. But all these are where men agreed with minors to engage in sex,” she said.
Mgombe said most of such cases are reported by parents who discover that their daughters are in love with a man. She said most men don’t understand this case, they always ask why they have been arrested yet they were in love.
“We have a scenario where a man came to complain to police that the community was accusing him for arranging for marriage with his longtime girlfriend of 17 years of age. He couldn’t understand that he was committing an offence. And he ended up being arrested.” said Mgombe.
Ntchisi police has since intensified community meetings sensitising people on the law, that any girl below 18 is an underage in the laws of Malawi.
A Mr. Gausi, who works as messenger at Ntchisi district council and his office next to the magistrate court expressed surprise upon asked of the law.
“I know defilement as sleeping with a minor but not of the age 17 or 18. I can see a lot of us congesting the prisons, because these are the ages most of the men are having affairs with, he said.
Gausi said there’s a need to conduct massive sensitization on the law if people are to understand, otherwise, most people are ignorant of the law and men will continue breaking it.
Ntchisi police has however said it will ask partners to help in conducting the massive sensitizations on the law so that people across the district understand it better.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA