Zomba First Grade Magistrate’s Court on Friday convicted and sentenced Mavuto Kalichero, 36, to seven years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) upon being found guilty of defilement.

Police prosecution witness, Sub Inspector Gerald Chinoko told the court that the accused defiled a 10–year–old girl at Jali Village in the district and tried to bribe the girl’s mother with cash to escape the long arm of the law.

Chinoko told the court that Kalichero committed the offence of defilement which is contrary to section 138 of the Penal Code on January 02 this year taking advantage of the absence of the girl’s mother who was away at the time.

It was learnt in court that Kalichero promised to give the little girl cash after the defilement to prevent her from revealing the incident.

“Your worship, the little girl told her mother that Kalichero defiled her and that he told her not to reveal the incident,” Chinoko told the court.

The court further heard that the girl’s mother confronted Kalichero who tried to reason with her on the issue to be resolved out of court instead of reporting it to police or any other law enforcing agency.

However, the mother of the victim reported the matter to Jali Police Station where she (mother) was further advised to take the girl to Zomba Central Hospital for medical examination.

The examination established that the girl was defiled, according to Sub Inspector Chinoko.

In mitigation, Kalichero asked the court to exercise leniency when passing sentence, saying he is an ‘orphan’ and that he has a wife and children to look after.

However, First Grade Magistrate, Esther Phiri said Kalichero committed a serious crime which deserved a stiffer punishment and that he needed to be kept away from the society especially from the girl child.

Phiri, therefore, convicted and sentenced Kalichero to serve as a lesson to irresponsible men that fail to protect and respect the rights of the girl child.

Kalichero comes from Mpalume Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kumtumanji in Zomba.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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