13-year-old girl sexually assaulted, infected with HIV: Malawi Police arrest man 67

Police at Euthini in Mzimba District have arrested a 67 year old man for allegedly defiling a 13 year old girl on three occasions after initially coaxing her with a tablet of soap and Glycerine.

The incidences happened in 2012 and came to light on September 10, 2013 following the girl’s (name withheld) series of intermittent illnesses and her subsequent testing positive to HIV.

Mzimba Police Public Relations Officer Seargent Gift Nyirongo confirmed the arrest of Wellington Tegha of Gwera Tegha village in Traditional Authority Chindi in the district.

“The victim did not reveal the ordeal to her guardians until she fell sick this year. When she went to the hospital in Euthini, she was diagnosed HIV positive. She then revealed her status and the one who infected her to guardians,” Nyirongo said.

One of the victims of defilement
One of the victims of defilement in Malawi

The police spokesman also said the guardians then reported the matter to Euthini Police Unit who then arrested the suspect.

Police have since charged the suspect with defilement contrary to section 138(1) of the penal code. The offence attracts a maximum penalty of Life imprisonment.

“Our investigations have revealed that the suspect has been on ARV’s therapy since 2006. The victim stays with her grandmother and the suspect is their neighbor,” he said.

There is no specific HIV and AIDS legislation in Malawi as the current laws cut across civil, criminal and constitutional laws.

But the Law Commission’s report proposes criminalizing the intentional and negligent (or reckless) transmission of HIV to another person.

“Any person who deliberately infects another person with HIV shall be guilty of any offence and shall be liable to imprisonment for 14 years,” the report said.

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