Herbalist sentenced to 21 years in prison for raping stepdaughter

A 48-year-old herbalist has been sentenced to 21-years in prison for raping and impregnating his 15-year-old stepdaughter.

The judgement was delivered yesterday at Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court sitting at Ngapani.

The man has been identified as Dickson Dinnes from Mazeze Village, in the area of Traditional Authority Nankumba in Mangochi.

According to Mangochi Police Station Public Relations Officer Sub Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi, State Prosecutor, Inspector Amos Mwase told the court that the convict who is a herbalist, married the mother of the child in 2014.

In June this year, the herbalist forced himself on the victim when his wife went out for prayers.

He then threatened the victim that she would die a mysterious death if she revealed the sexual abuse. The herbalist used the threat to continue raping the child.

The victim later became pregnant and she revealed the sexual abuse to her neighbour.

She warned her neighbour not to reveal the ordeal to her mother but the neighbour alerted the child’s mother who reported the issue at Ngapani Police Unit where she was issued with a referral letter. Results from Ngapani health centre confirmed about the pregnancy.

In mitigation, Dinnes asked for the court’s leniency citing that he is a breadwinner for his family.

But Prosecutor Mwase prayed for a stiff sentence, saying that as a parent, the accused person was supposed to protect the girl as a daughter but instead he raped her.

Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe then sentenced the herbalist to 21 years in prison.