Rumphi First Grade Magistrate Court Tuesday sentenced Village Headman Kapindamlonga whose real name is Benson Mkandawire to a 14 year jail term with hard labour (IHL) for defiling his 12 year old niece.
Mkandawire, 33 who hails from Kapindamlonga Village in the area of Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe in the district was reported to have committed the offence in July, 2017.
The court heard that on the material day, Mkandawire went to the mother of the girl and requested for water since his wife was hospitalized and the girl (victim) was requested to draw water for the convict.
Police Prosecutor, Maurice Chimseu said Mkandawire defiled the girl at his house after which he warned her against revealing the matter to anybody, threatening she would go mad if she did.
“The girl however, revealed her ordeal to her friends who then reported the matter to one of the members of the victim’s family,” said Chimseu.
Chimseu said upon being questioned of the incident, Mkandawire pleaded guilty and appealed for forgiveness and promised to pay K100, 000.00 but the parents of the girl turned down the offer.
“The matter was then reported to Bolero Police Unit. Medical report confirmed that the girl was indeed defiled and the village head was immediately arrested,” said Chimseu.
During court proceedings, Chimseu asked the court to mete out a stiffer sentence to Mkandawire saying the convict is a village headman who was supposed to be exemplary because he is entrusted with the responsibility of guiding, counselling and protecting his subjects.
In mitigation, lawyer Leonard Mbulo who represented the convict pleaded with the court to mete out a non- custodial sentence to his client saying the convict has lost his right to the throne of village headmanship besides being a first offender.
In his ruling, First Grade Magistrate, Cuthbert Phiri said the convict as a traditional leader was supposed to protect the victim from all forms of abuse.
“The convict is a village head as such he was supposed to protect his subjects including young girls from any form of abuse. I have also noted that such offences are common in the district for the reasons best known to the convicts,” said Magistrate Phiri.
Then Magistrate Phiri then sentenced Mkandawire to serve a 14 year jail term with hard labour.