11 January 2018

Malawi: Law Saves Teenager Defilers From Serving 14 Yrs Jail Terms

Nkhotakota — Two teenagers on Wednesday walked majestically though in total disbelief out of Child Justice Court sitting at Nkhunga in Nkhotakota after being found guilty of defiling girls contrary to Section 138 of the Penal Code.

The boys, 17 year old Chiyanjano Elias of Fala Village in Traditional Authority Kanyenda and 15 year old Mateyu Banda from Kawenuka Village T.A. Kafuzira in the same district, were both accused of defiling minors from their areas.

The court, through State Prosecutor Sam Chimkombero, heard that Banda defiled a fifteen year old girl (name withheld) and impregnated her in June last year. He said the parents of the girl did not know until three months later after realizing that their daughter was pregnant.

"Banda however, did not confess the act, prompting the parents to report the case to police, hence the arrest in September last year [2017]," he said.

Chimkombero, on the other hand, narrated that Elias was charged with an offence of defiling his 14 year old cousin (name withheld).

He told the court that in December 2017, Elias, who lives with his uncle took advantage of the absence of the relatives who had gone for farming leaving the girl at home.

"While at the field the suspect told his uncle that he wanted to drink water at home, only to have canal knowledge with the girl. The issue came to light when the girl reported the incident to her parents," said the prosecutor.

Both teenagers confessed before the court that they really had canal knowledge with the girls.

Presiding over the case, First Grade Magistrate Kingsley Buleya condemned the actions by the boys explaining that defilement attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.

He however said the two were privileged because they were minors as well.

"The court strongly condemns defilement as it is a serious offence. However, you are lucky because the law forbids minors to be sent to prison.

"I therefore order you to be under supervision of probation officer for two years, failure of which you will be sent to reformatory centres," ruled Buleya.

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