Chief jailed 21-years for raping, impregnating child


Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court sitting at Chilipa on Tuesday sentenced a 37-year-old village headman to 21-years in prison for raping and impregnating his 13-year-old sister in-law.

The court through state prosecutor, lnspector Amos Mwase heard that the convict, Chidima Patrick, who is Village Headman Chalenga and the victim have been staying together for so long.

In November, 2021, the village headman took the child to a bush where he sexually abused her.

Prosecutor Mwase added that the matter came to light in February 2022, after the convict’s wife noticed some changes on her sister’s appearance. The child mentioned the convict to be responsible for her 18-week pregnancy.

The matter was reported at Chilipa Police Unit where she was issued with a referral letter and the results from Chilipa Health Centre confirmed about the pregnancy.

Appearing in court the chief pleaded not guilty prompting the state to parade four witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

In mitigation, the convict asked for the court’s leniency, saying he is a breadwinner and leader for his village.

In submission, Prosecutor Mwase prayed for a stiffer sentence citing that as a guardian, the accused person was supposed to protect the girl instead of exploiting her. He added that, being a leader, the convict was needed to lead by example to his people.

Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state, hence the 21-year sentence to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.

He hails from Chalenga Village, Traditional Authority Chilipa in Mangochi.