A Malawian court has jailed a man and his ex-wife to two-and-half years and two years in imprisonment with hard labour respectively, for neglecting their own three children aged 10, 8 and 6.
The Second Grade Magistrate’s Court in the commercial City of Blantyre Thursday sentenced Innocent Malefula, 38, to 30 months imprisonment with hard labour for failing to supply necessities to children.
Earlier, Malefula’s former wife, 37 year-old Tiyanjane Malefula was also jailed and sentenced to 24 months in jail for abandoning the children by the Senior Resident Magistrates Courts in Blantyre.
Innocent Malefula hails from Maseya village in the area of T/A Makhuwila in Chikwawa district while his ex-wife, Tiyanjane Malefula hails from Kamakoko village in the area of Traditional Authority Makwangwala in Ntcheu district.
The Court heard through prosecutor, Mark Kavalo that Malefula separated with his wife a few years ago and left her with three children aged 10, 8, and 6.
The woman, Tiyanjane 37, then entered into another love affair with a certain man who bore her another child who is one and half year old.
The Court further heard that the new couple separated as well and that the woman was a single mother with four children, three from the previous marriage with Malefula and the other child from the newly ended relationship.
She told the court that with four children to look after on her own she could not make ends meet, so she left the children alone and went to Ntcheu to search for piece work in order to find money to support the children.
“This meant, therefore, that the first born, the 10 year-old girl assumed the role of the head of the family and laboured to fetch for herself and the siblings,” the court heard.
Concerned with what was happening with the three children, neighbours reported the matter to the authorities and subsequently, the social welfare office was informed and thereafter the government welfare officials visited the family and took over the matter.
The Court also heard that the welfare officials then decided to admit the children into child care institutions for care and protection.
“When the matter was reported to police, investigations were carried out and this led to the arrest of the mother on December 30, 2020,” Kavalo told the told the court.
The accused mother of the four children, Tiyanjane pleaded guilty to the offence of deserting children in which the court found her guilty and duly sentenced her to two years imprisonment with hard labour.
In his ruling, Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo said that the responsibility of looking after and taking care of children does not only rest in the hands of the mother, but that the father too, and that he is equally responsible for the mess and he is just as guilty.
The Court therefore directed that the father of the three children, Innocent Malefula should be traced and brought before court to answer the same charge as his ex-wife.
Police instituted further investigations, which led to the arrest of the Malefula, who is a businessman trading at Blantyre market.
Earlier this week, Malefula appeared before Second Grade Magistrate Mercy Katunga to answer the charge of failing to supply necessities to children which is contrary to Section 165 of the Penal code.
Malefula pleaded not guilty to the charges, which prompted the State to parade witnesses.
After hearing the case the court found Innocent (Malefula) not to be innocent but guilty of the charges levelled against him and and duly jailed him to two and half year imprisonment with hard labour.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :