The Nkhatabay Senior Resident Magistrate has sentenced Charles Mlanda, 25, and 23-year-old Duncan Phiri to 21 years in prison while sentencing for a third man, Lywell Kamanga, has been committed to the High Court after the three were found guilty of raping a child near a church.
Nkhata Bay Police spokesperson Sergeant Kondwani James said the court through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Isaac Imed heard that the three all from Traditional Authority Mankhambira in Nkhata Bay District, were arrested in October, 2022 following a report that they defiled a 14-year-old girl at Chilambwe in the district.
According to the state prosecutor, there were overnight prayers at Chilambwe CCAP Church on October 22, 2022 where the girl went to attend.
Whilst at the church around 22:00 hours, the girl went outside the church to answer a call of nature where she unfortunately met the three accused persons.
Kamanga reportedly dragged the girl into the nearby bush where his accomplices followed.
They all defiled the girl, one after another as she shouted for help.
Two other boys also appeared at the place with motive to rape the child but they failed since someone who heard the girl shouting for help came to her rescue.
After the three were arrested, they were taken to the First Grade Magistrate Court where they denied the charge. Eight state witnesses however, testified against them such that the court found them guilty and eventually convicted them.
Proceeding with the case under Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on February 15, 2023 the state asked the court to pass a deterrent sentence against the convicts basing on the fact that messages of protecting girls against such violence have been circulating through all forms of communication across the nation.
The prosecutor added that the convicts planned to commit the offence and that they have left a huge scar of trauma on the girl.
In mitigation, the convicts said their minds were overwhelmed by the devil to act in such evil way on the girl hence prayed for leniency.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Mateo Fatsani Chitha quashed the mitigation factors and sentenced the second convict Charles Mlanda and the third convict Duncan Phiri to 21 years imprisonment with hard labour each.
The magistrate committed the first convict Lywell Kamanga to the high court for appropriate sentence.
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