POINT OF VIEW -On 25th October, Malawi woke up toÂ media reports that Senior Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi had taken the Malawi Police Service to task over a swift bail given to a Pakistani, Irafani Ali, accused of sexually assaulting a girl of not more than 15 years old.
My mind immediately reconnected with two media reports that give rise to a most distasteful question: Is Malawiâ€™s girl child safe with Joyce Bandaâ€™s administration?
A few weeks ago, a reliable media outlet reported of a current minister in the Joyce Banda Administration who, in the company of his friends/bodyguards, kidnapped and systematically raped or intended to rape a group of youthful women. People garner power and authority through different ways, but a demonstration of power and wealth through systematic raping should not be tolerated in our beautiful Malawi.
Even without being proven guilty of rape, any highly positioned public official found in a sexually compromising situation with a group of girls should have the decency of resigning.
If President Joyce Banda had any morals, Malawians would have been afforded a short mention of the reported incident. Without underestimating the universally accepted principle of innocent until proven guilty, the president should have assured Malawians that the police will invest its questionable skills and limited resources towards bringing into the open what transpired within the closed doors of that Mzuzu hotel room. Or is the police awaiting the next government as was the case with Chasowa? Is it becoming a habit with our police to turn government officials into untouchables until there is a change of government?
Hot on the heels of this incident were reports that our dear President had pardoned a man found guilty of rape by a competent court of law. There are two disturbing dimensions to this story: the pardoned man had been found guilty of a serious crime, rape and he is believed to be a close relative of the President.
Now if this is not reason enough for our perceived honourable members of parliament to take President Joyce Banda to task, I see no reason why these MPs should be voted again into parliament come 2014, be it DPP, UDF, PP or Independent. Malawians should take to task all MPs, NGOs concerned with women and girl empowerment and even churches when they fail to discipline a government going haywire.
Whilst I donâ€™t subscribe to the Allan Ntataâ€™s idiotic politicising of every issue that comes into the public domain, I feel Malawi has matured to seek reasonable consideration from its President on issues that concern security. This duty should not only be left in the hands of sober-minded magistrates like Senior Resident Magistrate Nebi.
If our dear President keeps quiet when a government minister is accused of rape, if our president pardons a rapist found guilty by a competent court, am I right to say that our God fearing president is turning this country into a Sodom and Gomorrah for the girl child?
The president might have succeeded or failed in other areas, but every parent should be worried when our government fails to protect the girl child. It sets a bad precedence when rapists are pardoned, when reported incidents or kidnapping and systematic rape go without being investigated. It is a birth right of every girl child to have a safe and healthy environment and the impact of rape on a girl child, or even a grown up woman, is unimaginable.