A 40-year old herbalist identified as Daudi Nesto, of Chapola Village Traditional Authority Namabvi in Mangochi district was on October 5th, 2022 convicted and sentenced to 30-years imprisonment with hard labour by the Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court sitting at Makanjira for defiling a 13-year old girl and indecently assaulting a 10-year girl.
Mangochi Police Station Public Relations Officer Sub Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi, has confirmed saying that Nesto’s actions were contrary to section 137 (1) and 138 (1) of the Penal Code respectively.
Daudi said the court heard through Mangochi Police Station Prosecution Officer Inspector Amos Mwase that both victim’s on August 11th, 2022 accompanied their granny to seek traditional medicine from the convict who is a herbalist.
“After examination the convict revealed that the granny was bewitched and instructed that the medicine had to be administered to the whole family including the victims,” Daudi said.
Further, she highlighted that Prosecutor Mwase added that, the three were left at the sitting room and the convict went to his bedroom where he called them one after another starting with the younger one and he caressed her private parts and breasts while the second victim was defiled while covered her mouth and also threatened to kill her with a knife.
“The second victim came out from the bedroom while crying and both rushed and narrated the ordeal to their mother who reported their ordeal to Lungwena Police Unit where both were issued with referral letters and the results from Lungwena Health Center confirmed that one of the victims was defiled,” she added.
Daudi added that in mitigation the convict who pleaded not guilty asked for the court’s leniency citing that his four wives and children would suffer if sent to prison but, the state quashed his mitigation factors, saying the convict took advantage of the victims’ vulnerability.
“The state prosecutor further said the convict’s immoral behavior could also dent the image of traditional healers hence need for a stiff and custodial sentence to the agreement of Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe who therefore sentenced him to 20- years in prison for the count of defilement and 10-years imprisonment with hard labour for indecent assault,” she explained.
Daudi highlighted that the sentences to run concurrently.