A Catholic priest has been found guilty by Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate Court for sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl and he has been convicted.
Father Numeri Mweta, 39, of Lisanjala Parish under Zomba Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church was accused of abduction, defilement and procuration of the 15-year-old girl.
The court learnt that on July 19 to 21 2018, the girl went missing from her home and that on July 21 she went to her aunt’s home where she pleaded with her to seek forgiveness from her parents, revealing that during the days she was missing, she was with the priest.
The priest is said to have offered the victim’s father a bundle of K2 0000 banknotes to withdraw the case, bu the father rejected the offer.
In her testimony, the girl confessed that the relationship with the priest started in July 2018.
She said he rented her a house at Liwonde and later moved her to Balaka, Lilongwe and back to Zomba as she was pregnant and wanted the girl to be close to her parent’s home.
But in his defence, the priest said he was convicted that the girl was a grown-up as her national identity (ID) card indicated she was born on January 4 2001 contrary to her birth certificate which indicated she was born on January 4 2003.
Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe ruled that the prosecution had successfully proved its case and convicted the priest.
In his submission, Patrick Chambuluka prosecuting, prayed for stiff punishment, saying as a priest, Mweta should have been preaching child protection.
But in mitigation, Mweta’s lawyer, Timothy Chirwa, asked the court to sentence his client as any other person not as a priest as everybody is equal before law.
The court will pass its sentence this Wednesday March 13 2019.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :