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Chiefs Accused for Demanding Bribes in Machinga

Robert addresses women of Chiganga village in Machinga on GBV Robert addresses women of Chiganga village in Machinga on GBV - pic by Eamon Piringu

Women in areas of Group Village Headman Chiganga under Senior Chief Nkoola in Machinga district have accused some local chiefs in the area of forcing them to pay bribes for them to shield their husbands who are defiling their own girl children.

One woman, Haliet Mawindo, says the local leaders threaten to have their husbands arrested and that they will live in poverty; hence, obeying the order.

Mawindo and other women revealed this on Tuesday at a sensitization campaign on Gender Based Violence by the Nayuchi Aids Network Services (NANES) supported by the Spotlight Initiative with funding from The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

"Most of the women in our area are paying bribes to chiefs to avoid arrests of their husbands who among others are perpetrating defilements in this area. The women have no options but to save their husbands and families," said Mawindo.

Senior Group Village Headman Chiganga has expressed ignorance on the matter, noting that he is yet to receive a complaint on the matter.

NANES District Coordinator, Tonnex Robert, says the malpractice is fueling an increase in number of young mothers; hence, affecting development of the district.

"It is very unfortunate that the tendency is on the rise in the area. Machinga is one of the least developed districts in the country as most people including girl are uneducated and are always getting pregnant. We want this to be addressed,” said Robert.

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