Court convicts choirmaster for impregnating choir member

A First Grade Magistrate’s court in Malawi’s eastern district of Balaka has sentenced a 21 year old man to six and half years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling and impregnating a 14 year-old choir member.

Police Prosecutor Inspector Isaac Mponela told the court that the suspect Macdonald Amadi (21) who was a choir master, between the months of January and February 2013 at Ali Chapola village, Sub Traditional Authority Kachenga in Balaka district, defiled a 14 year old choir member.

Inspector Mponela went said the victim was on her way home from choir practises when the suspect approached her and asked her to accompany him but the victim denied.

“After seeing that the victim has denied, the suspect just dragged the victim to the nearby bush where she defied her and threatened to kill her if she reveals,” said Mponela.justice

According to Mponela this forced the victim stop going for choir practises and the Church for fear of the suspect and did not reveal this to anyone until when her parents noticed some signs of pregnancy.

Medical examination conducted at Balaka district hospital revealed that the victim was three months pregnant.

The suspect pleaded not guilty to the offence of defilement which is contrary to section 138 (1) of the Penal code but the court found him with a case to answer after Police paraded three witnesses including the investigator Constable Flyness Mithi.

In his submission before sentence, Inspector Isaac Mponela asked the court to consider giving the suspect a stiffer sentence since the offence committed is serious and that as a choirmaster, he needed to be of good manners because parents believe that a girl child is safe when she involves herself in church activities.

Mponela said what the choir master has done brings shame to the whole church and the suspect deserves a custodial sentence so that the girl child can be protected and it should be a lesson to him and would be offenders.

In mitigation, Amadi pleaded with the court to forgive him saying that he is a first offender and that he is still young.

Passing judgement, First Grade Magistrate Damson Banda agreed with the state that the suspect deserved a stiffer and custodial sentence since the offence committed is serious in nature and that as a choir master, he was supposed to be of good manners and a change agent.

Magistrate Banda wondered of where the girl child will be safe if the churches are not safe.  He therefore sentenced him to 78 months imprisonment with hard labour.

He said he has given him such a sentence so that it should be a lesson to him and some ill mannered choirmasters like him.

Macdonald Amadi comes from Sera village, Traditional Authority Kalembo in Balaka district.

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