Courts faulted over lenient sentences to sex offenders

By Flaviour Mtotela

Women’s Legal Resource Centre (Wolrec) has faulted the courts for giving unduly lenient sentences to sexual violence offenders.

Wolrec executive director, Maggie Kathewera Banda was reacting to the sentencing of a 20 year-old man to four and half years imprisonment for defiling a 14 year old girl in Dowa District.

According to Dowa police spokesperson Gladson M`bumpha the convict Benson Chikaonda from Ndala village in the area of Traditional Authority Mkukula was in a love affair with the girl since March this year.

While in court Chikaonda pleaded guilty to the charge of defilement and his ruling, First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri said Chikaonda was given the four and half year sentence because he pleaded guilty to the charge thereby not wasting the court’s time.

But Wolrec executive director, Maggie Kathewera Banda described the sentence as ‘unacceptable’ and not in tandem with the offence.

Banda has since called upon the judiciary to give stiff punishments to sexual violence offenders in order to deter would-be criminals.

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