MIAA turns to mobile courts to curb defilement

Pilira Ndaferankhande Executive Director MIAA

Concerned with the rising cases of defilement, the Malawi Interfaith Aids Association believes the establishment of mobile courts in rural areas will effectively address the issue.

MIAA executive director Pilira Ndaferankhande attributed the increase in the spread of the HI virus among young people to defilement and inter-generational sex.  

She believes the establishment of mobile courts in rural areas will help in protecting children from defilement.

 “We have established mobile courts so that when an issue has happened in the rural area it shouldn’t take time to reach the district where we have the magistrate’s office.

“We need the magistrate to travel to the community and establish a court and we’ll make sure that within two weeks that issue has been closed to make sure that even the defiled is also safe,” she said.

She also bemoaned the culture of silence which she noted has led to increased cases of HIV and Aids in Malawi.

Participants
Participants at the media interface

The organisation which coordinates the faith-based response in Malawi, has a department which has developed a gender based violence policy, disseminated to all mother bodies and religious institutions.

She expressed concern over reports of some religious leaders who have been involved in relationships with young people.

“I know in religion we say we have to forgive. Yes we forgive but in every issue that we do even in God’s eyes there is a price to pay.

“The only challenge is the response. We have one issue at the moment where we have been following it up and the police will tell you we’re busy with politics,” explained Ndaferankhande.

She bemoaned the delays from law-enforcers even when funding is available.

clergy
Some of the members of the clergy whose response is coordinated by MIAA

In light of dwindling funding for HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria programmes, she stressed on the need to go beyond project management organisation and still implement activities even with minimal or no funding.