Women activists this morning thronged Lilongwe magistrates court premises where they booed and chanted anti-rapists songs against a stepfather who is alleged to have defiled his nine-year-old stepdaughter.
Hundreds of the women activists, led by firebrand Jessie Kabwila, booed Stuart Kalungama as he appeared before the court.
Kapangama has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The presence of many women activists at the court prompted police to up security around the court premises.
Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has since denied bail Kalungama, who is alleged to have defiled his stepdaughter at CCDC in Chilinde Township.
Kabwila addressed the women activists, saying Kalungama deserves castration.
“What he did is more than evil. He has completely destroyed the future of the child. A child cannot give consent for sex. Even me, I can only sleep with someone I love,” she said.
Writing on his Facebook wall, prominent lawyer Ralph Kasambara says rape and defilement are amongst the most heinous crimes found in our penal law books.
He says this is reflected by the maximum penalty one can get when convicted of such offences.
Kasambara says it is, therefore, not surprising to see the large numbers of concerned citizens calling for justice for the innocent 9-year-old child victim that was allegedly raped by her step farther.
“A sad case of a castle turning into a dungeon. The people that are supposed to be shepherds turning into wolves. This is one of saddest cases coming before our courts,” he says.
However, Kasambara says every person is presumed to be innocent till proven guilty, saying every person is entitled to a fair trial before an impartial and independent judge or Magistrate.
He says It goes without saying that justice must not only be done but seen to be done, adding in simple terms, the dispensers of justice must not pander to the public whims or social media activism.
“Now reverting to the current case in Lilongwe, I am not sure whether the accused person has not already been convicted in the court of public opinion?
“I am not sure whether he will receive a fair trial given the negative publicity right in the court premise and in the social media; and the public baying for his blood.
“Will it not be fair to have this case tried outside Lilongwe City?” He asks.
He suggests restricting protesters/lobbyists to stage their protests about 500 metres away from the court precincts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :