By Zakale Botomani
There are growing calls for Police and civil society organisations to take action on a Man from Thyolo area who is suspected of a number of sex crimes . Using his power and influence, the man is instilling fear in the people from the area, many of whom are scared and choosing to shut their mouths for fear of repercussions despite knowing about the many wrongs that are happening .
247Malawi News investigative desk has established that a Mr Steven Kaunda of Traditional Authority Nsabwe from Thyolo hwo was born in the 1950s is at the centre of alleged suspicion over a number sex crimes that includes sex with minors, grooming and forcing girls into prostitution. . He is a Transporter involved in Mini buses and trucks as a means of his living.
Kaunda is believed to be soliciting younger girls into prostitution as part of rituals in order to boost his business. It is also believed that by him sleeping with young girls it will not only make him more richer but also powerful. A number of girls and families have reported him to police but it is allegedly that he has been bribing the police officers. Malawi faces the challenge of high corruption and bribery levels , a loophole that Kaunda has so far used to try to silence those that have attempted to report him to police , or police attempts to investigate him further
Ironically, Mr Kaunda has been supporting a lot of orphans and elderly people in this community. He is loved among his people because of a number of charity works he has done in the community.
Kaunda has 3 wives and has 8 children (2 of his wives are arranged marriages and are half his age) younger brides. He is known to be abusive to his wives which led to one of his arranged wives to escape 20 years ago to the USA. It was established that Kaunda loaned wives father money to boost his business in exchange for a bride. Since the Wife ran way,he has been demanding his bride price money and has been threatening that unless the wife returns back to him, he does not want the money back and upon return if she doesnt cooperate to his demands he will arrange for her to be killed
247Malawi News spoke to Thyolo Police public relations officer Chitsanzo Banda, who acknowledged that the rumours have indeed been going on but the police has not arrested anybody yet “We had some files that were opened years ago, unfortunately they kept missing . Lack of computerised system has been the problem as it is harder to follow up on investigations once files are lost like that ” . She however called on people in the area who have strong evidence to come forward.