A TRADITIONAL leader is claiming that he has never banned the wearing of miniskirts and skimpy dresses in his district.
His reaction was in response to a story in The Express which was entitled ‘CHIEF BANS MINI SKIRTS’.
Paramount Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V of Mzimba called The Express to claim instead, that the ban only applies to school-going children under the age of 18, as contained in by- laws that are applied in his district.
Besides demanding how girls should dress, the existing by-laws also prescribe how boys should dress.
They refer specifically against boys wearing pants that expose their buttocks, a trend that is known in the vernacular as ‘ku khwefula’.
By-laws are generally defined as rules and regulations made by a local authority or company or society to control the actions of its members.
Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V together with his officials and village representatives passed the by-laws in his district in 2016.
The Chief was quick to say that he is not the only authority to ban school-going girls from wearing short skirts or dresses.
“The bylaws are for school-going children. If you say that I have banned miniskirts, am I the first to do that?
He went on to claim: “The Catholics at Mary Mount School, do they allow students to wear miniskirts? If you go to Nkhamenya Girls Secondary School, have you ever seen any student wearing miniskirts? I am just following,” he said.
The story on the mini skirt ban was prompted by reports on social media, including WhatsApp groups that said the Chief had banned women from wearing miniskirts, hot pants and slacks.
The Chief forwarded to The Express a copy of the listed by-laws, which legal experts say are in clear infringement of some rights of individuals, as contained under clauses of the Constitution of the Republic Malawi, the highest law in the land and that they could be successfully challenged in Court.
Some commentators on social media also questioned the right of the Chief and his indunas to control how children of other people should be dressed.