Lilongwe Magistrate Court has sentenced five men to five years imprisonment with hard labor each following attacks on trouser-wearing women, who were stripped in the streets. In January, small-scale traders, a gang of unemployed youths and sidewalk vendors went on a rampage undressing women and girls wearing trousers, leggings, shorts and mini-skirts in the main cities. The attacks attracted wide condemnation from the public.
The five convicts are Tsonga Williasi, Edward Kazinga, Petro Patulani, Alfonso Thomas and William Kapito. They were successfully prosecuted on charges of indecent assault. The five were accused to have stripped naked and injured Fatima Milanzie when she was coming from a hair salon while wearing a wrapper at Chigwirizano Trading Center. They were also suspected to have stolen the money from the woman and mobile phone K20, 000. Lilongwe Magistrate Banda said what the men did was “inhuman” and imposed a lengthy prison sentence to deter others from committing a similar offence.
Until 1994, women in Malawi were banned from wearing pants, during the long dictatorship of Kamuzu Banda.