The First Grade Magistrate court in Mponela on Friday sentenced a 54-year-old chief to six years in jail for raping his stepdaughter.
The chief, Group Village headman Dambalira, whose real name is Daniel Bizwick, was convicted of defiling an imbecile contrary to section 138(1) of the penal code.
It was heard in court that on 26 September this year the victim went to draw water at a nearby borehole at around 7pm.
The rapist stepfather found her there. He then grabbed the girl and dragged her to the nearest church where he raped her.
“The uncle to the girl reported the matter to police who arrested Bizwick,” state prosecutor Sammy Liwonde told the court.
During court proceedings, the state prosecutor asked the court to mete out a stiff sentence arguing that chiefs are supposed to protect children at all times from any form of abuse.
In mitigation, Bizwick pleaded with the court to hand him a lighter sentence saying besides being aged and having three wives and eleven children, he has mental illness.
But first Grade Magistrate Yohane Nkhata slapped Bizwick with a 6-year custodial sentence saying what he did tarnished the good image of chiefs in the country.
In a related development, a 37-year-old man Masanilo Chimwembe will toil in prison for the next 12 years for raping his stepdaughter.
The court heard that the convict raped the girl three times and ended up impregnating her.
Bizwick hails from Dambalira village in the area of Traditional Authority Dzoole while Masanilo Chimwembe hails from Juma village in the area of T/A Chakhaza in Dowa.
Section 3, of Child Care, Protection and Justice Act of 2010 states that parents have the responsibility of protecting their children from violence, abuse, exploitation, oppression and exposure to physical, mental, social and moral hazards.