Herbalists jailed 8 years for raping woman in Malawi

A herbalist in the northern region district of Mzimba has been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for raping a 19 year old married woman on the pretext of treating her to get love therapy.

Mzimba first grade magistrate George Longwe sent to jail 53 year old herbalist Griffin Vitima Mlenje after finding him guilty of rape contrary to section 132 of the penal code.

In passing sentence, Magistrate Longwe said cases of rape are on the increase.

Facts before the court were that on January 21, the herbalist met the victim-Loveness Mussi 19 and her friend Ulemu Mlenje 21 and told them that he had concoctions to make their husbands love them more.

Woman abused hebalist

Woman abused hebalist

The court heard through Mzimba police prosecutor Davie Mloza that the herbalist took the two women to his shrine where he is said to have dragged Loveness Mussi to the nearby bush and raped her.

”After satisfying his sexual ego, the herbalist then took some fluids from the private parts of Mussi which he said would be mixed with some concoctions to make the love portions,” said Mloza.

Mloza further said the herbalist cut incisions at the victim’s private parts, thighs and face.

”Afterwards, the herbalist told Mussi to make similar incisions on the private parts of her friend Ulemu Mlenje while he watched,” Mloza told the court.

According to the police prosecutor, the rape victim narrated her ordeal to her husband who later reported the matter to police leading to the arrest of the herbalist.

In mitigation, the herbalist asked for leniency saying he was looking after three children and that his wife suffers from high blood pressure (BP).

The herbalist comes from Jimu village, T/A Chindi in Mzimba district.

Police said there were many more cases which went unreported.

“Many girls and women are shy to report to police about being sexually abused by herbalists.”

Rape victims are stigmatised in the largely conservative society where sex is a taboo subject.
Herbalists in Malawi are known to trick women, especially those seeking cheap abortion.

Malawi has also had numerous reports of young girls being raped by men who believe they could be cured of AIDS by going with a virgin.

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