Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has asked relevant security authorities to expedite the closure of Mbowe Filling Station car park, a popular public drinking spot in Lilongwe City, where cases of drug and sexual abuse on young girls are reportedly on the rise.
Speaking during a press briefing at the Capital Hill on Wednesday ahead of this year’s International Rural Women’s Day which falls on October 15, Kaliati said it is appalling that some men are using the premises as a breeding ground for initiating girls into the drug trade.
The minister also expressed dismay with the indecent behaviour of sexual abuse in broad day light mostly by vehicle owners who patronise the joint.
She said: “I ask police officers and other security agencies to intervene in protecting our women facing different kind of abuses at Mbowe. We have learnt that at this place there are drug dealers christening themselves as ‘Baptists’. We cannot tolerate continuation of this disgusting development.
“Owing to this, we ask the law to take its course and bring to book all perpetrators involved. This place should be abandoned forthwith. People should only buy drinks or refill their cars but not use the park as a drinking joint.”
On issues of social welfare, the minister advised all women whose rights have been infringed but have no legal representation to consult her ministry which will be giving them female lawyers pro bono.
Her statement comes at a time when some unscrupulous police and court officials have been conniving with law offenders in other cases where women have been abused.