Women’s Legal Resource Centre (Wolrec) has joined the public in reproving the song entitled ‘rape’ composed by local artist Mwiza Chavura.
Rape and defilement are the most commonly reported sexual offences in the country. This is a crime of power that can be committed against anyone.
The women’s rights organisation described the song as retrogressive, coming at a time when the country is fighting against the act.
In a statement released Wednesday, Wolrec communications, monitoring and evaluation research manager Dumase Zgambo-Mapemba noted that Chavura insulted the modesty of a woman through his song, contrary to Section 137 (3) of the Penal Code.
“Taking into consideration the negative impact this song may have on women, the youth and the public, it is only proper that he publicly apologises using other forms of media apart from his Facebook wall.
“Human rights violation, specifically gender-based-violence [GBV], whether through entertainment or other forms, should never be condoned in Malawi. Let us continue to work together in the fight against GBV to raise a violence free future generation,” the statement read in part.
Section 137 (3) stipulates that: “Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be guilty of misdemeanour and shall be liable to imprisonment for one year.”
Mapemba further said her organisation’s concern is also targeted at the youth since they are the ones who listen more to the hip-hop genre.
“The youth would or may be misled into thinking that if a woman refuses to have sex, the man is justified to rape her,” she regretted.
Tendai Banda, a young activist based in Lilongwe, also raised his concerns against the song.
She argued that rape is not something to make fun of and rebuked everybody who thought it was alright to bring this song to life.
“Many women carry the brunt of the horrendous encounter for the rest of their life. This song is very disturbing and a mockery to all women,” she said in her Facebook post.
Responding to the public outcry over the song, Chavura apologised on his Facebook wall: “I would like to apologise to all the women I have offended with my song. I didn’t know it was going to offend women and I didn’t know the concept would be misunderstood. The song is just an imagination, it’s not particularly involving any woman, it’s not meant for anyone to take seriously, like in all my other songs.”
Meanwhile, the police national child protection officer Alexander Ngwala said Chavura in being investigated and appropriate action would be taken.