MHRC commends Judiciary for stiff sentences against rapists

The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has praised the Judiciary for imposing sentences of 30 years or more against rapists.

MHRC has said this in a statement signed by executive secretary Habiba Osman and dated April 30.

This follows a recent ruling by Judge Chifundo Kachale where he sentenced a 55-year-old man who raped a 13-year-old girl to 30 years in prison.

Last year, 43-year-old Fabiano Maliko was sentenced to 14 years in jail by a magistrate court for raping a child aged 10 but he appealed against the sentence calling it excessive. The High Court then sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

Osman in the statement said the path the Judiciary is taking in pronouncing gender responsive judgement has power in giving meaning to the rule of law.

“We therefore call upon the Judiciary to ensure the pronouncement of stiffer punishments for all sexual offences as a strategic intervention within the hierarchy of the judicial system in a bid to also deter other would be offenders from committing such heinous crimes,” reads part of the statement.

Osman urged Government ministries to ensure that criminals laws relating to gender-based violence are implemented, women and girls are protected from violence and perpetrators ar3 held are accountable and that there are effective reparations for victims.

She further said that adults should be vigilant for red flags on all situations that can be abusive to children.

“Every adult should rise up to identify possible risky situations and behaviors of adults towards children and report the same with speed considering that time is of essence in children’s maters,” said Osman.

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