Nsanje chiefs ask for sensitization of newly enacted laws

By Martin Chiwanda, MANA

Traditional leaders in Nsanje have bemoaned their lack of knowledge on most of the country’s enacted laws.

The chiefs made the observation during their meeting on Monday when they were being briefed on the new proposed Chiefs Act.

Traditional Authority (TA) Chimombo noted that most of the traditional leaders, including him do not have adequate knowledge on the current enacted laws.

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He said most of them are using the old laws when discharging their duties in their areas of jurisdictions.

“It is a known fact that we traditional leaders do not have enough knowledge on the newly enacted laws such as Marriage and Inherirance Act 2016, among others.

“We even don’t know the cases which we can handle as traditional leaders. We just take any case as it is without taking into consideration on what the laws say,” he explained.

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Senior Chief Mbenje asked the District Commissioner (DC) to facilitate the awareness process so that traditional leaders should have knowledge on the enacted laws.

“We really need to be sensitized on the current enacted laws. Most of us are blank on the laws which is compromising our work as traditional leaders,” he said.

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Nsanje DC, Douglas Moffat said the Council would look into the concerns raised by the chiefs.

Meanwhile, Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) on Monday engaged local chiefs around Mfera area in Chikwawa District on the rights of visually impaired persons.

MUB Executive Director, Ezekiel Kumwenda  said they thought of empowering the chiefs to be aware of the rights of the visual impaired persons as one way of dealing with a number of challenges such people face in the country.

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“We came to share knowledge with the local chiefs here so that they should go flat out sensitizing communities on the rights of their colleagues because most people of this nature are being discriminated on top of facing other numerous challenges,” he said.

Kumwenda said most of them to date are sexually harassed, saying so far the country has recorded 26 cases of that nature.

Councillor for Mwamphazi Ward in Chikwawa West Constituency, Wyson Bush commended the initiative saying it was an eye opener.

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“This has been very helpful to our communities since we are associated with different kinds of people and others are those with visual impairment,” he said.

Chikwawa District Assistant Rehabilitation Officer, Elizabeth Khumbanyiwa hailed MUB for the support, saying the interface was timely as the district had also been recording a number of issues to do with people with visual impairment.

“This meeting will help our local chiefs to go and share the knowledge with community members and this will eliminate the bad practices people with visual impairment are facing in our communities.

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“We are looking forward to working with Chikwawa Police so that they should take into account some of the reported cases,” she said.

According to MUB, it intends to ensure that there is no discrimination among people associated with visual impairment on top of making sure that their rights are protected.

The meeting was attended by chiefs from Traditional Authorities (TAs) Maseya, Katunga and Mlilima.—Additional reporting by Daniel Sankhulani, MANA