THE Kitwe High Court has sentenced two men to 25 years imprisonment each for defiling their step-daughters in separate incidents.
High Court Judge Isaac Chali sentenced Sunday Bwalya of Kasama and Greford Chilindi, 42, of Chinsali to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling their step children.
Mr Justice Chali upheld the conviction of the two accused persons after the cases were referred to him for sentencing.
Bwalya, 39, defiled his 14-year-old step-daughter and impregnated her between January 2009 and January 30 2010.
The girl had testified that Bwalya used to make advances towards her each time her mother was away but that she used to turn down his proposals.
She said Bwalya eventually started forcing her to have sex in the bush and that each time he defiled her, he threatened to kill her.
The girl testified that Bwalya had sex with her on a number of occasions until she became pregnant.
In another case, Chilindi defiled a 12-year-old girl in June 2010.
The girl testified that she went into her bedroom to prepare for school when Chilindi followed her, pinned her down and defiled her.
The court heard that the girl shouted for help but there was no one to rescue her.
She later informed her grandmother who lived near her place about what her step-father had done to her.
In defence, Chilindi denied defiling the girl and said he had looked after her for four years.
He said he thought the girl was 15 years old at the time.
In sentencing Chilindi, Mr Justice Chali said the convict abused the trust and molested his step-daughter when her mother was away.
"It appears step children can no longer be safe with their step fathers anymore and this is the more reason why the convict should be put away from his family for a long time," said the Judge.
The court observed that Chilindi's statement that he thought the girl was 15 years old, did not matter because the law prescribes the age of the victim, as anyone below 16 years old.