The Senior Resident Magistrate Court sitting in Kasungu has sentenced 36-year-old Eliya Phiri to 13 years imprisonment with hard labour for raping a 12-year-old girl.
Kasungu Police publicist Inspector Harry Namwaza said state prosecutor, Sub Inspector Thocco Juziwel, told the court that the convict, Eliya Phiri committed the offence on May 1, 2019 at a certain bush in Chomola village.
Juziwel also told the court that Phiri raped the victim two times after which he gave her K200 and K500 on the two occasions respectively aiming at stopping the girl from revealing the ordeal.
After raping the girl, Phiri threatened to kill her if she dared to tell anyone about the incident and fearing for her life, the girl did not tell anybody up until when she confided in her aunt after falling sick.
The aunt reported the matter to village authorities who later nabbed Phiri and reported him to police.
However, Eliya Phiri pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement which prompted the state to parade four witnesses. Phiri was later found guilty and convicted as charged.
In mitigation, the rapist requested the court to exercise leniency on him considering that it was his first time to commit such an office and that he has a family to take care of.
However, Sub Inspector Thocco Juziwel strongly objected to Phiriâ€™s request for leniency citing that, such cases are escalating in Kasungu and that there is a need for actions that would cure the problem.
Juziwel said sexual offences against children have long lasting psychological trauma on the victims and further told the court that, such children need to be protected from such irresponsible perpetrators and one of the ways is to give stiff sentences on perpetrators.
Senior Resident Magistrate Montfort Misunje said it is sad that such cases are becoming rampant in Kasungu and one way of fighting such cases is by slapping offenders with stiff sentences.
Misunje then handed Phiri a 13-year term.
Eliya Phiri comes from Magantha village in the area of Traditional Authority Kawamba in Kasungu district.
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