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The Malawian government has compensated 18 women and girls who were sexually harassed in 2018 by police officers in the Mpingu and M’bwatalika neighbourhoods of Lilongwe.

The Women Lawyers Association (WLA) on behalf of the victims filed a legal case against the Malawi Police Service (MPS), the Clerk of Parliament, the Ministry of Homeland Security, and the Inspector General of Police in Judicial Review Cause No.7 of 2020.

The civil action was settled successfully, according to a news release published by WLA President Immaculate Maluza on July 19, 2020, and the court-ordered MPS to compensate the victims.

Assistant Registrar (Madalitso) Chimwaza of the Lilongwe High Court Registry made a judgement on damages assessment on March 9, 2021, determining the amount of compensation granted to each Applicant.

WLA made a public announcement that the Government had settled each of the 18 Applicants in JR Cause No.7 proper settlement.

The press statement states the payment terminated the civil side of the case and the WLA believes that women and girls have the right to be free of sexual harassment. According to statistics one out of every three women will be beaten, attacked or forced into sex at any point in their lives.

According to the press release, the verdict in JR Cause No.7 and subsequent payment of compensation confirms that violence against women is never permissible, never justifiable, and never tolerated.

“Women and girls in Malawi continue to face obstacles in accessing equal opportunity and representation in every sphere of life. We, therefore, implore the government to make available sufficient, effective and sustainable resources to reduce and eliminate gender-based violence across Malawi”.


WLA is dedicated to ensuring that the criminal part of the case moves forward, resulting in the identified police being charged under applicable criminal statutes.

WLA further advises residents in the area where the claimed crimes of rape and sexual abuse occurred to refrain from harassing or threatening the victims, as such behaviour is illegal.

As a result, WLA will take quick action against any practitioner of assault against physical and sexual abuse victims. The 18 victims were compensated with sums ranging from K4 million to K10 million.