First grade magistrate Esmie Tembenu on Tuesday put her foot down and refused to withdraw a defilement case which a complainant moved and the State had no objection.

Tembenu reminded the complainant about the consequences of defilement which could lead to infertility, trauma, contraction of HIV and Aids, terminal illness and even death of the victim.

The fact of matter are that a 13-year-old boy in Bangwe, Blantyre on July 26 2014 defiled a six-year-old girl from within the neighbourhood.

When the mother of the girl cooked nsima and told her to go and eat with the boy, she refused, saying she feared that the boy would defile her as he had done before. The mother then reported the matter to police and the boy was arrested. He admitted to defiling the girl.

Weeks later, the mother of the girl went to court to withdraw the case, saying she had forgiven the boy because the two families (of the accused and complainant) are ‘neighbours, both of Tumbuka tribe and come from the northern region’.

But Tembenu refused to close the case, wondering how a loving mother could think of closing the case when she is not the victim.

“How can a biological mother, who is not a physical victim, have the courage to come to court just to close a case in which her own daughter is a victim?

How can the State, instead of giving facts of the case, allow a mother to make an application for closure of a defilement case?”, asked the annoyed Tembenu.

She told the court that within three weeks, three women have come to the court to apply for closure of defilement cases involving their daughters.

“This is because most parents opt to settle cases of their defiled daughters out of court because of nothing but material gains. Shame on those mothers”, said the magistrate.

She told the complainant that the law does not allow parents to close cases because they are merely witnesses as the cases are between the State and the accused.

After the ruling, prosecutor Joseph Tsokalawo proceeded with the case.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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