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Women should not suffer in silence—Kaliati

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Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has advised women to stop being secretive on abuses they are facing in families.

Kaliati spoke on Wednesday in Blantyre at a burial ceremony for Grace Kabula Chipanda and Gift Kabula, a woman and her child who were shot dead by husband, Charles Chipanda, in Zingwangwa Township on Sunday night. Chipanda then turned the gun on himself terminating his life.

The Minister said marriage is not supposed to be a deathbed but a place of peace, calling on all women to report any gender-based violence and quit if their husbands abuse them.

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“Many of us are keeping a lot of secrets and one of those secrets has contributed to the loss of three lives, including that of an innocent woman and child. Parents and relatives should always be quick to tell their children to end the marriage if one of them is living in a troubled marriage.

“A person can die because of living in an abusive marriage but nobody can die because of being unmarried. Leave the house if you are getting gender-based violence heat,” Kaliati said.

Apart from urging women to report all the criminal activities that their husbands are involved in, Kaliati called on neighbours and land owners to report to police any serious and strange neighbour or tenant family disagreements.

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She also advised land owners to have enough knowledge of what their tenants really do to earn a living.

Kaliati, who said she suspects the woman was forced to sign a suicide note that was found in the house, believes both the woman’s and man’s families have stories to tell and it would be proper for them to come out.

All the people who spoke during the ceremony which was marked by gloom, occasional murmuring and handclapping expressed their disappointment and failure to get answers to several questions that the incident has raised.

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