Rampant defilement cases in Chikwawa
Rampant defilement cases in Chikwawa “worrisome” as court jails two men 10 and12 years respectively

By Chilenje Chilenje

The Chikwawa Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 30-year-old Allan Champhanda to 10 years imprisonment for defiling a 14-year-old Standard 7 girl after posing as a witchdoctor.

Champhanda was convicted on Friday before First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu.

The convict defiled the girl on the night of 17 September 2018 at Tombondela in the area of Senior Chief Chapananga in the district.

State Prosecutor, Sergeant Danford Otala, narrated in court that Champhanda convinced the girl that he would offer her charms to excel in class.

“Having won her trust, the accused took the victim into the bush some 5 kilometers away, claiming he wanted to dig some herbs.

“He instead stripped himself naked and forced himself onto the girl, threatening that he would bewitch and kill her if she dared disclose anything back home,” explained Otala.

However, according to Otala, on her returnfrom the bush, the girl revealed about everything and was immediately taken to Kakoma Health Centre where she was proven to have been sexually assaulted.

“On the following day, Champhanda was captured by the community at Namacha village after fleeing from Tombondela village,” added the police prosecutor.

During his trial, he admitted to have defiled the girl claiming he wasn’t aware that the girl was under aged.

The state, however, pleaded with the courtto hand Champhanda a stiffer sentence, arguing girl children needed to be protected from individuals of the accused’s caliber.

First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu, while concurring with the state, observed that what Champhanda had done was tantamount to jeopardizing the future of the girl child; hence deserving a harsh sentence so as to be isolated from the society.

Chirundu slapped Champhanda with a ten-year-prisonterm to deter would-be offenders.

Champhanda comes from Saopa Village in Senior Chief Ngabu in Chikwawa district.The same court same day slapped a 20-year-old man with a twelve-year prison sentence after being found guilty of defiling a 14-year-old girl.

The convict, Ndagwira Vitaliano, was found guilty during the court session.The court, through Police Prosecutor Danford Otala, learnt that the convict committed the offence on August 12, 2018 at Chapembera Village in the area of Senior Chief Chapananga in the district.

“At about 7 o’clock in the evening, Ndagwira Vitaliano came across the victim who was in the company of her young brother.”

The two, who were coming from an initiation ceremony, immediately got ambushed by the accused.”

He dragged them into a nearby bush and demanded money in order to set them free; and the boy paid K500 and was released.”

The accused kicked the victim down and defiled her four times, leaving her screaming for help,” said Otala.

The victim’s brother spilled the beans about his sister’s ordeal, prompting parents to report to the village head.

“On their way back (from the village head),the parents found their daughter crying and immediately they set off for the accused’s house.”

The convict, however, turned loose upon seeing the girl’s parents and he brandished a knife.

The law enforcers from Ngabu Police Unit captured the convict in a night raid.In his defence, Ndagwira Vitaliano admitted defiling the girl claiming the two were in a relationship a claim the girl and other 3 witnesses denied.

The court subsequently found him with a case to answer.

In his submission, State Prosecutor Otala asked the court to mete out a harsh penalty on the accused, arguing the victimnot only suffered trauma but also violenceduring the sexual attack.

Passing judgement, First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu bemoanedan outbreak of defilement cases in Chikwawa district despite back-to-back convictions on the same.

The magistrate, while stressing the need to pass harsh sentences to perpetrators, went on and convicted Ndagwira Vitaliano, giving him 12 years imprisonment with hard labour.