By Emmanuel Moyo
Karonga First Grade Magistrate’s court has convicted and sentenced a 43-year-old Chakufwa Nyirenda to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 7-year-old girl.
The court heard through state prosecutor, Sub-Inspector Harrison Mtambalika that on April 4, 2021 at Phapa fishing area in Karonga District, Nyirenda had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16 years.
Mtambalika submitted to the court that although the accused person is a first offender, the offence he committed is very serious that attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
“The accused person is supposed to protect the girl child who is one of the vulnerable groups, instead of protecting her, he was on the forefront to defile her,” Mtambalika said.
Mtambalika added that children are entitled to be protected from the economic exploitation or any treatment, work or punishment that is likely to be hazardous, harmful to their health, physical, mental, spiritual or social development.
“Your worship, cases of defilement are on the increase in Karonga District as well as across the country, it is my prayer to this court to impose a meaningful sentence to the accused person in order to deter would-be offenders,” Mtambalika said.
In mitigation, Nyirenda asked for court’s leniency when passing a sentence to him because he has a big family responsibility.
Passing sentence First Grade Magistrate Julius Kalambo concurred with the state about the seriousness of the offence.
Kalambo quashed the mitigating factor of family responsibility, he said the accused person would have refrained from committing the offence.
“The accused person failed to love himself, as such, the court will also be harsh with him by imposing a long sentence to him in order to deter would-be offenders,” Kalambo said.
He therefore, sentenced Nyirenda to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Nyirenda hails from Kandoda Village, Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District.