Former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elllock Maotcha Banda has pleaded not guilty to abduction charges before Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Zomba.

Maotcha Banda was arrested last Thursday in Blantyre for allegedly abducting a school girl aged 17 and the case entered plea on Monday in Zomba.

The case is expected to resume on June 23, and reports indicate that Maotcha is currently searching for a lawyer to represent him in the case.

Police Officer in Charge for Machinga, Assistant Commissioner Gideon Nahumu, said Maotcha is currently remanded at Zomba Central Prison awaiting further hearing of the case.

Maotcha was Member of Parliament for Machinga Central between 2004 and 2009 and was appointed deputy minister of Trade and Industry during that period.

Many civil society organizations applauded Parliament for passing the 2010 Child Care, Protection and Justice Act among others seek to protect children against various forms of sexual abuse.mana

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