By Yohane Symon:
Women from political parties in Mangochi District Wednesday took to the streets and demonstrated against political violence which they are being subjected to during campaign meetings.
Renowned human rights defenders such as Timothy Mtambo plus officials from NGO Gender Coordination Network and the 50-50 Campaign Management Agency joined the march.
In a petition which the women presented to Mangochi District Commissioner’s (DC) office, the women say they are saddened that they face numerous forms of violence.
“We noted with concern the recent incident which happened on January 20 when some political party operatives assaulted a woman in Mangochi. This is just one of a litany of incidences which we are not happy with,” reads part of the statement.
“We want to see all perpetrators of such acts behind bars upon satisfying all legal channels and proceedings.”
NGO Gender Coordination Network Chairperson, Barbara Banda, said the police’s failure to arrest perpetrators of violence can undermine the government’s efforts to promote women into leadership positions.
“Our coming here has shown that we are not happy with the way men are treating us during the campaign period. We want the ground to be levelled as we campaign towards the May 21 elections,” she said.
Mangochi Central Constituency aspiring member of Parliament, Victoria Kingston, complained that during primary elections, she endured verbal insults.
Mangochi Principal Administration Officer, Dominic Mwandila, who received the petition on the DC’s behalf, said the council would work with other arms of the government in addressing concerns of the women.