Malawi teacher convicted for sexual assault: Jailed 9 years

The First Grade Magistrate’s court in Malawi’s northern border district of Karonga has convicted and sentenced a 40 year old primary school teacher to serve nine years in prison for defiling and impregnate a 14-year-old girl.

According to Karonga police prosecutor Inspector, Peter Pilingu, the accused identified as Mandevu Munthali, 40 defiled the girl on 22 February 2014 at Chankholombe Primary School in the district.

Giving the witness, the girl said Munthali gave her  K300 for her not to tell anyone what happened.

The mother of the girl told the court that she was suspicious of her child and after she confronted her, she revealed that her teacher defiled her in one of the classrooms at the school.

She added that the girl was taken to Chilumba rural hospital in the district for medical examination where it was revealed that she had 21- week-old pregnancy.

Munthali accepted the accusation but pleaded with the court to be lenient when passing the judgment saying he agreed with the parents of the girl to marry her.

“You have to be lenient with me because I did not denied the accusation and on top of that we agreed with her parents to marry the girl and take full responsibility of her and also I have a big family to look after,” said Munthali.

However, Pilingu told the court that cases of defilement are serious offences and carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment with hard labor.

“These cases are very common here in Karonga and looking to the circumstances of this offence, it was committed in a very delicate manner in the sense that the accused person seduced a standard six primary school pupil and now he is saying that he will marry her because she is pregnant a reason enough to be given a stiff penalty,” said Piringu.

Passing the sentence First Grade Magistrate Chakaka Nyirenda said offences of defilement are on the increase in the district as well as in the country and that marriage of the two was not lawful because of the age of the young girl.

“Cases of defilement are on the increase in the country and in order to reduce early marriages, I have decided to send Munthali to jail for  nine years as a signal to others who may wish to follow suit,” he said.

Mandevu Munthali hails from Malapula village while the girl hails from Bonje village both in the area of Traditional Authority Wasambo in Karonga district.

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