Mary Navitcha Dodges Msundwe ‘Aftermath’

Gender minister, Mary Navicha, is avoiding public comment on allegations by alleged police-rape-victims from Msundwe in Lilongwe who claim rapists impregnated one and infected the other with a sexually transmitted infection-STI.

The women made their claims days ago in the media.

But minister of gender Navitcha has opted to stay quiet about the allegations saying until the report on an on-going investigation is out, it would be premature for her office to say a thing.

Navicha said this in an interview with us in Lilongwe Tuesday at the official closing ceremony of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence.

She said her office would only make a comment on the allegations after a report by the Malawi Human Rights is out on the incident.

“These ladies are claiming they are pregnant, there could be many of them. It could be true or false but my ministry will waiting for the report,” Navicha adding “I will come with a report from the commission of enquiry. As of now I can't comment much but soon after the report I will be able to say what really happened at Msundwe,” she said.

Navicha asked journalists for patience on the matter which activists have expressed worry with.

This coming at the official close of the 16 days of activism Against gender based violence which ends on the World Human Rights Day-December 10th.

But human rights activist, Beatrice Mateyo, expressed shock at the minister’s position saying she expected the minister to publicly push for justice for the alleged rape victims.

Mateyo, of the Coalition for the Empowerment of Women and Girls says the delayed action by the ministry is actually, in itself, an infringement on rights of the victims.

“As a Minister she should have taken action on this. I feel like there is a lot of dragging in this issue and we are going see that justice is not served on the women and now we see a lot of issues coming out, we hear of pregnancies and infections!

“Those things have given us guidance to take action,” Mateyo said adding “This continued delay is infringing their rights and Malawi signed several declarations aimed at protecting women and girls so let us apply these laws”.

The two ladies together with others from Msundwe claim to have met their fate on 9 October this year, when riot police invaded Msundwe, Mbwatalika and Mpingu on an apparent police-revenge mission after a uniformed officer was earlier stoned to death by the community.

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