A 29-year-old prophet who took advantage of a widow’s vulnerability by raping her and sexually abusing her three daughters has been sentenced to 105 years in jail for rape and indecent assault in Zambia.

This was after the Court of Appeal quashed a 68-year jail sentence which Lusaka High Court Judge Sharon Newa initially imposed on Semmy Kavinga.

Last year, Judge Newa convicted Kavinga of rape, attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault and sentenced him to 68 years imprisonment with hard labour.

According to the record of appeal, Kavinga used to conduct weekly prayers from 20:00 hours to about 23:00 hours on Mondays and Tuesdays for about a year in the victim’s house.

This was after the victims, a mother and her three daughters, had lost a husband and father.

The court heard that Kavinga claimed to have prophetic powers, and on the material day, he prophesied to the widow that her late husband’s relatives had put something in stomach and she needed to sleep with her son-in-law.

Kavinga further instructed the widow to sleep alone because if she slept with her children, they would lose their voices, and she heeded the instructions.

At some point, during the night, a person went to the widow’s room and fondled her.

At trial, the widow narrated how Kavinga raped her.

She further narrated that Kavinga warned her against doing anything and in fear, she looked away and slept.

The victim said the following day, Kavinga told her that he was seeing her blessed.

The court also heard how he sexually abused the widow’s daughters.

But the law caught up with him and was sentenced to 68 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Dissatisfied with the High Court verdict, Kavinga appealed to the Court of Appeal.

When the matter came up in Ndola before deputy judge president Chalwe Mchenga and Marjory Majula, the court ruled that Kavinga deserved stiffer punishment.

Justice Mchenga described the 68-year jail sentence slapped on the convict as shockingly light and substituted it with 45 years in count one, 40 years in count two and 20 years in count three and four, to run consecutively.

This means that Kavinga will serve each sentence after the other.

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