Court acquits police officer over defilement charges

The Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has acquitted 33-year-old police officer Chiponda Kalawa after finding him not guilty of the offense of defilement.

Kalawa was arrested on October 7, 2021 in Lilongwe on suspicion that he defiled a 16-year-old girl.

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Upon his arrest, it was alleged that the accused, who is a police officer, went to the house of the victim, as she was staying with her mother, and forced himself on her.
According to state witnesses who were paraded, the accused went to the house after being sent by the girl’s father to facilitate the collection of the girl’s clothes from a man called Allan, who is said to have gotten possession of them.
While at the house, it is alleged that Kalawa took the girl into her bedroom for questioning, and while there, he had sex with her.
The accused denied the allegations and after all state witnesses were paraded, he was found with a case to answer. At that time, Kalawa sought legal representation from Legal Aid Bureau, and the matter was taken up by Senior Legal Aid Advocates Clive Chiudzu and Chikondi Kambuwa.
In defence, Chiponda Kalawa maintained his stand that he was not guilty of the said offense levelled against him.
He explained to the court that the girl’s father called him to his house saying his young daughter was married and he should assist in bringing her back home. He said he did not defile the girl and he only did what his friend (the girl’s father) asked him to do.
After hearing from both sides, His Worship Senior Resident Magistrate Wanangwa Nyirenda ruled that a medical report brought by the state was not conclusive.
The report proved penetration, but the girl had sexual partners and hence could not clearly point out that the accused was responsible for the said sexual encounter.
Further evidence from one of the state witnesses was that the girl has never had sex with anyone, but the medical report proved otherwise. The credibility of evidence from the state was therefore not believable and the court further found that evidence from the police was inconsistent.
The court, therefore, acquitted Kalawa. After staying in custody since 2021, he is now a free man.

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