The Balaka first grade magistrate court on Tuesday sentenced a 34 year-old man to nine years imprisonment with hard labour for raping and impregnating his 16 year-old niece.
Police prosecutor Elias Chitsulo told the court that during the early months of 2016, the man identified as Philimon Sauka repeatedly raped the girl.
The young girl was living with Sauka who is her late mother’s brother.
The prosecutor asked the court to consider giving the suspect a stiffer punishment saying that he should have acted as a father and not taking advantage of the vulnerability of the young girl.
In his mitigation, Sauka pleaded with the court for leniency saying that he borrowed money from FINCA and his wife will find it challenging to pay back the loan. He also said that he has got relatives who rely on him.
Passing judgment, first grade magistrate Felix Mandala concurred with Chitsulo that the suspect was supposed to be responsible in protecting and providing for the child and not misusing his position as the breadwinner of the family.
He further said that other similar cases go unnoticed or unreported since the victims are afraid of losing the daily needs which they get in being under such people’s custody hence the stiff punishment to act as a lesson for would-be offenders.
Philimon Sauka comes from Kanjovu village, Traditional authority Nsamala in Balaka district.