A 51-year-old Chinese national, Chen Shiliang, has been ordered to pay K2.8 million by the Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court as compensation or serve two years in jail for sexually harassing two female workers at his workplace.

Shiliang, who works as a chef at China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), a construction company that is constructing the Nkhata Bay Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project under the Northern Region Water Board, faced two charges of sexual harassment contrary to Section 6 of the Gender Equality Act.

The court heard through the state prosecutor Moja Phiri that between May and June this year, Shiliang allegedly sexually harassed two women working as cooks at the same company.

“Shiliang touched the women’s buttocks and breasts and also private parts of one of the ladies from May through to June,” he said.

Phiri said that despite the two women reporting the matter to the company’s authorities, the convict continued harassing them, a development that prompted the women to report the matter to Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco) in the district.

In mitigation, the lawyer representing Shiliang, Constantin Mandala, asked the court to be lenient with his client arguing he is a first offender and that he pleaded guilty to both charges; hence, saving the court’s time.

Delivering the sentence, Mzuzu senior resident magistrate Godfrey Nyirenda ordered Shiliang, to pay K1 million to each of the two women as compensation and includes K800 000 as court fine.

“In total, he [Shiliang] has to pay K2.8 million,” the magistrate said.

The development however comes barely a week after a court in Dedza fined another Chinese also working at a construction company K1 million for physically assaulting a Malawian employee working as a dumper operator.

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