Two Malawian men who tried to sell sale three family members including a two-year old child in July 2013 at Jendausiku , Enukweni area in Mzimba District are going to prison for seven years Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mzuzu convicted them.
According to police spokesman Maurice Chapola, the court heard that the second convict, Levison Manota 23 , of Suzumire village in the area of Traditional Authority Kachere in Dedza first met his accomplice Piason Dzimbiri 42 of Namiwa village in the area of Traditional Authority Chimaliro in Thyolo , at Enukweni when he was recruited as a tenant during 2012 tobacco growing season .
The two reportedly connived to trade in human body parts and the second convict when he returned home at the end of the growing season, reportedly enticed the family of Ibrahim Kantandi 36 to sell their kids.
Ibrahim and wife offered the three family members for sale but one of potential buyers alerted police.
Then Police detectives from Mzuzu posed themselves as potential buyers negotiating with the convicts on the price of K150 million . The court heard that they negotiated to buy them at K120 million before the police officers swooped in to arrest them.
Appearing in court, the convicts denied the charge of kidnapping and abduction with intent to murder contrary to section 261 of the penal code which attracts a maximum sentence of 10 years IHL.
This prompted the state to parade seven witnesses who testified against them.
The court said no one, not even a parent, is allowed to own another person.
In 2011 US state department published a report that named Malawi as a source country for men, women and children to be trafficked for forced labour and sex.
The authors said the Malawi government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but was making significant efforts to do so.
Habiba Osman, one of the country’s top human rights lawyers, said many children from Malawi are also taken to other neighbouring countries, such as Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa, where they are forced into the sex trade and/or domestic slavery.
Osman said “its high time lawmakers put tough human trafficking laws in place.”
Apart from the Child Care Protection and Justice Act of 2010 where child trafficking is a criminal offense attracting a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, Malawi is mostly using other laws that prohibit some elements of trafficking such as the Employment Act and Article135 through 147, 257 and 269 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, government will table a bill to curb human trafficking during the sitting which resumed on Monday, according to Leader of the House, Francis Kasaila.
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