Malawian man jailed 10 years for having sex with step daughter

Nkhata Bay Second Grade Magistrate Court has sentenced a 36-year-old man to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for having sex with his 14-year-old stepdaughter.

The court heard that Bannet Zimba, 36, had been having sex with the girl since September last year, contrary to section 160 (b) (1) of the Penal Code.

On 20th May this year, Zimba came from a drinking joint and went straight to the children’s bedroom and started coaxing the girl to have sex without knowing that the she was fast asleep.

After hearing a male voice in the children’s bedroom, Zimba’s wife went to the room and found her husband seated on the mat. When the wife asked him what he was doing in the children’s bedroom, Zimba got furious and they started quarreling prompting the girl to wake up.

The victim of defilement

The victim of sexual abuse

When the girl asked what was happening, the mother told her that his father was found in the children’s bedroom. At that moment, the girl took courage to explain to her mother that the step father had been having sex with her whenever the mother was out for business of buying fish at night

The girl said Zimba threatened that he would kick her out of the house once she revealed.

He pleaded guilty to the charge and blamed the devil for misleading him. Subsequently, the court convicted him.

“Your worship, I’m asking for community sentence because sending me to prison would mean punishing innocent souls like my stepdaughter who is one-month pregnant and my family as they need my support,” Zimba said in mitigation.

Police Prosecutor Evans Kantukule prayed for stiffer punishment to serve as a lesson to other would-be offenders.

“Your worship, cases of having sex with young girls are becoming common in this district. As such, the convict needs stiffer punishment so that other people should learn a lesson,” he said.

Second Grade Magistrate Wallace Mwafulirwa concurred with the State that such cases were becoming common in the district hence the need to give him stiffer sentence.

Thus, he trashed the mitigation factor saying the convict should have thought of his responsibility as a parent before acting inhuman as he did.

“It is unfortunate for the convict to do that to a child he was supposed to protect,” he said before slapping him with  a jail-term of 10 years IHL.

Meanwhile, the girl is receiving psychosocial support from Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) Nkhata Bay Office.

Zimba comes from Chindoka village in Traditional Authority Mzukuzuku in Mzimba District.

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