Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced a herbalist, White Sabineti, 63, to 11 years imprisonment with hard labour upon being found guilty of raping a 21-year-old woman with epilepsy.
Prosecutor, Sub Inspector, Emmanuel Kambwiri told the court that the young woman had been living with epilepsy for a long time such that her relatives consulted the herbalist to heal her with his traditional medicine.
Kambwiri added that on August 13 this year, Sabineti visited the woman to check on her condition after a few days after administering the medicine to her.
He said the herbalist requested the woman to follow him to his house for further attention. However, upon reaching his house he took the young woman to a bush where he raped her and was seen by passers-by before he escaped.
It was learnt in court that the matter was reported to Malombe Police Unit where the woman was referred to Malombe Health Center where it was confirmed that she was indeed raped.
Sabineti pleaded not guilty and denied the rape charge which prompted the state to parade four witnesses who all testified against him.
In mitigation, he asked for leniency, saying he takes care of 18 children and grandchildren, whom he said, will suffer if sent to prison.
However, the state disregarded his appeal for leniency on the basis that it was unfortunate that Sabineti took advantage of the woman’s condition and desperation for help.
Kambwiri, therefore, said the herbalist’s immoral act has dented the image of traditional healers as such Sabineti deserved a stiffer and custodial sentence.
Passing judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate, Rodrick Michongwe agreed with the state on the gravity of the offense.
Michongwe, therefore, sentenced Sabineti who comes from Mgona Village in Sub Traditional Authority Chiunda in Mangochi to 11 years imprisonment with hard labour to serve as a lesson to would-be offenders.