GVH arrested in controversial sex misconduct case

Malawi Police in Dedza are keeping in custody Group village Headman (GVH) Katsekera in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kasumbu in the district for having canal knowledge with his step daughter consecutively.

But it is not yet clear whether the case of rape which the police have charged him will hold water.

GVH real name Thandizani John is alleged to have  started knowing sexual intercourse  with  the girl when she was aged 16 but at the time of arrest the girl is aged 19.

Dedza Police Deputy Publicist Constable Cassim Manda confirmed on Monday of the arrest.

“The suspect has been victimizing his step daughter in the name of superstition until on 29th August this year when relatives to the victim caught them sleeping together in romantic style,” said Constable Manda.

Even though the victim seems to show satisfaction to what was happening, police have charged the suspect with rape case as holding charge and the suspect is said to have voluntarily admitted it.

Looking at definition of rape, the  court is expected to make its ruling whether to proceed with a case or to amend the charge sheet.

“As police we advise the general public to feed the police when they get the rumours of criminal activities otherwise Dedza Police is concerned that resident of Katsekera knew about the news long time but they were reluctant to report it,” said Manda.

Why is the case controversial?

There is no blood connection between a victim and suspect therefore police cannot charge the suspect with incest by male under section 157 subsection (1) of Penal as law does not provide element of being stepdaughter .

Incest of male is defined as:  any male person who has carnal knowledge of a female person, who is to his knowledge his granddaughter, daughter, sister, mother or grandmother shall be guilty of felony and liable to imprisonment for a life.

Even though carnal knowledge started when the girl was 16 years old, but since it was not reported defilement which is under section 138 subsection (1) cannot stand.

Definition is defined as any person who has carnal knowledge of any girl under the age of 16 and shall be guilty of felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for life.

Since the girl victim is 19 years as such a suspect cannot be charged with defilement.

While rape as holding charge is doubtful if the case can pass as it seems the victim gave  consent, no intimidation or threat was obtained when suspect committed an offence.

Rape is defined as any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl without her consent.

Dedza First Grade Magistrate Court is to expected to make its ruling over a case.

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