The Second grade magistrate’s court in Blantyre has sentenced Innocent Malefula, 38, to 30 months imprisonment with hard labour for failing to supply necessities to children.

The court heard through prosecutor, Mark Kavalo that Malefula separated with his wife a few years ago and left her with three children aged 10, 8, and 6.

The woman, Tiyanjane 37, then entered into another love affair with a certain man who bore her another child who is one and half year old.

The new couple separated as well.

Having seen that she could not make ends meet, she left the children alone and went to Ntcheu to search for piece work.

This meant the 10 years old girl assumed the role of the head of the family.

Upon seeing this development, well-wishers informed the social welfare office whose officials visited the family.

They then decided to admit the children into child care institutions for care and protection.

When the matter was reported to police, investigations were carried out which led to the arrest of the mother on December 30, 2020.

In court, the mother of the four admitted the offence of deserting children which the court found her guilty and sentenced her to 2 years imprisonment with hard labour.

In his ruling, senior resident magistrate Akya Mwanyongo mentioned that the responsibility of taking care of the children does not only rest in the hands of the mother but that the father is equally responsible.

He therefore directed that Malefula should be traced and brought before court to answer the same charge.

Police instituted further investigations which led to the arrest of the offender who is a businessman in Blantyre market.

On August 17, 2021, Malefula appeared before second grade magistrate Mercy Katunga to answer the charge of failing to supply necessities to children which is contrary to Section 165 of the Penal code.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge which prompted the State to parade witnesses.

The court later found him guilty and and made the sentence.

Malefula hails from Maseya village in the area of T/A Makhuwila in Chikwawa district while Tiyanjane Malefula comes from Kamakoko village in the area of T/A Makwangwa in Ntcheu district.

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