A THIRTY-SIX-YEAR-OLD Chongwe man Patrick Mwale who defiled his 11-year-old step daughter has been sentenced to 40 years imprisonment with hard labour.
High Court judge Sharpe Phiri in handing down the judgment yesterday, also sentenced another 42-year-old Chirundu man Nelson Moonga to 25 years imprisonment for defiling a 10-year-old girl whom he infected with HIV.
In jailing the step father, Judge Phiri said his action was alarming because he was the father and guardian to the girl who was entrusted with the responsibility of protecting his daughter and not to harm her with impunity.
"Such abuse on helpless girls is intolerable especially in this case where the step father is involved. He had a moral responsibility of ensuring that the girl is protected from all forms of abuse including sexual but only to find that he is the one sexually abusing her with impunity, I accordingly sentence you to 40 years," the judge said.
This was in a matter in which Mwale was found guilty of an offence of defilement by the Chongwe Magistrate's Court on October 17 this year and was referred to the High Court for sentencing.
In mitigation Mwale said he was asking for leniency because he was the first offender, regretted his actions and had learnt a lot while in prison and that he also needed to be given a second chance so that he could be reintegrated with his family which had been shattered due to his actions.
In the other case, Moonga was convicted by the Chirundu magistrate's court on October 31, last year on a similar offence.
Particulars allege that Moonga on September 9, 2011 unlawfully had carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16 years.
Judge Phiri said she had considered the evidence on record and his mitigation which entitled him to leniency but that cases of defilement were on an increase hence the need for the court to impose reasonable punishment especially that the victim was exposed to HIV.
"The victim in this matter has been exposed to HIV by the convict at a tender age due to such intolerable behaviour. I accordingly sentence you to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour," she said.
And another 33-year-old Kafue man, Kelvin Shindano has been slapped with a 20-year jail sentence for defiling and impregnating a 14-year-old girl.
This was in a matter in which Shingano defiled a girl under the age of 16 contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
"This offence is becoming prevalent and the court has a duty to ensure that lives of girl children are protected throughout and this can only be done through handing down stiffer punishments to act as a deterrent to would be offenders," she said.