Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday October 13, 2021 convicted and sentenced George Gwagwala, 31, to 19-years imprisonment with hard labour for raping a 20-year old woman.
Mangochi Police Prosecution Officer, Inspector Amos Mwase informed the court that Gwagwala worked as clinician at Mangochi District Hospital. On August 8, 2021, the victim went to the hospital for medical attention as she was having an ankle pain and had an encounter with the convict while on duty at the casualty ward.
The clinician asked the victim and another patient, a man, to follow him and he took them to his hostel. The first to be assisted was the male patient. The clinician later invited the female patient into the room.
Prosecutor Mwase added that the clinician locked the door. He then forced himself on his patient, consequently injuring her and tearing her clothes in the process.
The matter was reported at Yoneco office who brought the victim to Mangochi Police Station where she was issued a referral letter and the results from the same hospital confirmed that the victim was raped.
According to Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Sub-Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi, Gwagwala pleaded not guilty to the charge whereupon the State paraded four witnesses, who testified against him.
“In mitigation, Gwagwala asked for the court’s leniency citing that his family invested a lot of money in his studies and all would be wasted if he would be sent to prison. However, the State quashed his appeal saying that, the convict took advantage of the victim’s condition and also violated rights of the patient,” said Sub-Inspector Daudi.
The prosecutor argued that the clinician’s immoral behaviour has dented the image of medical profession and workers hence the need for a stiff and custodial sentence.
“Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the State hence sentenced him to 19 years in prison to serve as a lesson to other would-be offenders,” she said.
Gwagwala hails from Helemani Village, Traditional Authority Khwethemule in Thyolo.