The First Grade Magistrate court in Salima has sentenced Andrew Banda, 36, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling his 11-year-old stepdaughter.
Banda who hails from Mikute Village, Traditional Authority Maganga in the district, pleaded guilty to the offence.
During court hearing, Banda admitted the charge saying he had been defiling his step daughter since February this year following instructions he got from a witchdoctor for him to get rich.
“The witchdoctor told me that if I slept with my stepdaughter I would get rich,” Banda told the court.
The court heard that on 4th May, 2017, the victim revealed the matter to her peers after the father had whipped her for coming late from market where she was sent to buy soap.
Passing judgement, First Grade Magistrate, Alex Kamtiki, said the maximum punishment for the offence of defilement, which is contrary to section 138(1) of the penal code, is life imprisonment, but the court had decided to slash the punishment to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour considering that the convict is a first offender.
“Defilement is a serious matter which invites heavy punishment but in this case court has slashed the punishment to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour because you are a first time offender,” said Kamtiki.
The sentence sends strong message to other perpetrators that the law will take its course on people who instead of protecting their children, take child abuse as a norm.