By Mathews Kasanda
First Lady Monica Chakwera has described rising cases of defilement and rape in the country as “spiritual warfare”, stressing that prayers could be a lethal weapon against perpetrators of the vices.
She made the remarks at Joyce Banda Foundation International’s fundraising event in Lilongwe.
Proceeds from the event will be channelled to orphans and vulnerable people that cannot manage to raise money for fees and other necessities.
“I feel like the devil has risen. The first thing is to pray. This is a spiritual war. This is spiritual warfare. Others might not agree but, to me, that is a spiritual war,” Chakwera said.
The First Lady added that the girl-child was more at risk than ever before, describing the situation as unacceptable.
She further urged Malawians to join hands in bailing girls and women out of the current predicament.
“We must render support to girls in different aspects [of life] including financing their education and economically empowering their parents to break the poverty cycle. My parents were poor but I am not poor,” Chakwera said.
In her remarks, VicePresident Saulos Chilima’s wife Mary challenged women to venture into businesses to become economically independent. Gender Minister Patricia Kaliati urged mothers to be role models to their children and protect them from harm. She has also challenged men to change their mindset and stop perpetrating violence against women.
Recently, the country has registered an upsurge in defilement and rape cases, prompting President Lazarus Chakwera to call for concerted action.