The Balaka First Grade Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 26-year-old man Gabi Kumwenda to 78 months imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for defiling a 12-year-old girl.
State Prosecutor Constable Christopher Nyirongo told the court that the suspect on 31st May, 2013 defiled the 12-year-old victim at Kananji Village, Traditional Authority Nsamala in the Eastern Region district of Balaka. The offence is contrary to Section 138 (1) of the Penal Code.
“The victim was called by the suspect (Gabi Kumwenda) to follow him to his sugarcane garden where he said she could be given some sugarcane to take home. But instead, the suspect grabbed the victim and defiled
her. Later on, the victim reported the issue to her parents who reported the matter to Balaka Police who arrested him,” the court heard.
The suspect pleaded not guilty to the offence but the court found him with a case to answer after the State had paraded four witnesses during the hearing process.
In mitigation, the suspect asked the court for forgiveness arguing that he takes care of his mother who is physically challenged and very old.
But the state, through Nyirongo dismissed the mitigation saying, cases of defilement are on the increase in the country hence the need for the court to give offenders a stiffer sentence in order to enhance the protection of the girl child.
Making a ruling, magistrate Damson Banda agreed with the State Prosecutor and said it is the duty of the courts to protect the girl child by giving offenders stiffer sentences. He therefore sentenced Kumwenda to 78 months IHL as a lesson to him and other would be offenders.
Kumwenda comes from Siliya Village, T/A Nsamala in Balaka.