Mangochi Police Station has bemoaned an increase in defilement cases in the district despite continuous efforts to curb the malpractice.
This has been partly attributed to harmful cultural practices.
For the past nine months the station has registered 57 cases compared to 35 cases which were on record in the same period in 2019.
The findings attribute the increase to some cultural practices and beliefs. The figures have increased despite efforts by the Police and other stakeholders like Social Welfare, Yoneco and World Vision which are aimed at keeping the girl child safe from all kinds of abuse.
Covid-19 has also been identified as another accelerator of defilement cases as children were not in school for the previous months.
Out of the 57, 50 cases have been completed in court and the perpetrators are serving jail terms while 7 cases are still ongoing.
The report has also singled out denial/refusal of witnesses to testify in court as one of the challenges in pursuit of justice in court. As a result, perpetrators are acquitted due to lack of concrete evidence.
Meanwhile, the police has noted with great concern that most of the perpetrators are close relatives especially stepfathers.
Apparently, the station wishes to thank stakeholders and members of the public for their support through tips and alerts which have made police work easier.
Furthermore, to ensure safety, security and full enjoyment of rights by young girls, Mangochi Police will continue with the measures in order to reduce the cases in the district.