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Contributing towards the protection and promotion the rights of children and the youth

P.O Box 180 Dedza Malawi

Tel/Fax : +265 1 223 745 Cell: +265 9 511 879 E-mail: yocris1@yahoo.com

18th June 2008 PRESS RELEASE (For immediate use) MAN IMPRISONED TO 12 YEARS WITH HARD LABOUR FOR DEFILEMENT

In its continued efforts to contribute towards creation of a protective environment for children in Dedza District, Youth and Children Rights Shield (YOCRIS) an NGO that contribute to the protection and promotion of the rights of children and the Youth in Dedza has successfully facilitated the prosecution of Mr. Zefati Hwangwa, 27 years old for defiling and impregnating a 11 year and 5 months girls in Dedza District. The accused, Hwangwa who hails from Phumula1 Village, Group Village headman Mganja , T/A Kachindamoto in Dedza was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour(IHL). Dou Mkwaila the father of the defiled girl, on 8th May 2008 lodged a complaint at Youth and Children Rights Shield that Zefati Hwangwa had impregnated his daughter Dorothy who was a standard 6 pupil at Mganja primary school in the district. Youth and Children Rights Shield (YOCRIS) filed a complained on the matter to Dedza police station for ligation. Sitting before Dedza First Grade Magistrate Court on 6th June 200 and 11th June 2008 the Zefati pleaded guilty to the allegations. The court heard that Zefati Hwangwa defiled Dorothy Mkwaila on five occasions between December 2007 and February 2008 until she got pregnancy. Dorothy who was born on 2nd January 1997 was threatened not to reveal the ordeal by the Hwangwa. Prosecutor J.T. Andiseni from Mtakataka police station tendered in the court medical report obtained from Mua Catholic Hospital which among other things stated that he the girl would end up with caesarean section because her pelvis is not well developed to carry out a normal delivery and that she needs to deliver at a big hospital under a supervision of skilled health worker. The medical report, further states that Dorothy may end up delivering a preterm baby who is difficult to take care of. The medical report again indicates that she may as well develop heath problems that will make her void stool and urine uncontrollably.

Passing the Judgment His worship Kamankhudza said that the crime committed by Hwangwa was a felony and he needed to be punished and committed him to a 12 year sentence with hard labour. Meanwhile Youth and Children Rights Shield is applauding Magistrate Kamankhudza for meting such a punishment in its strongest term. However Youth and Children Rights Shield intend to appeal for higher sentenced should the high court confirm the 12years imprisonment meted at the first sitting of the court. Youth and Children Rights Shield is concerned with number of heath implications that will arise from this pregnancy and delivery and in this regard that Youth and Children Rights Shield (YOCRIS) feel the high court should hike the term to the fullest to deter would be offender s of case of the same nature. Zefati Hwangwa contravened section 138 of the penal code. Subsection (1) of the same indicate that any person who unlawfully and carnally knows any girl under the age of thirteen shall be guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for live , with or without corporal punishments. Meanwhile Youth and Children Rights Shield would like to bring to the attention of members of the general public that laws of Malawi prohibit any sexual activity with any girls under the age of 13 years and that if is serious crime in Malawi.

Signed by

Bright Kampaundi EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (+265 9 511 879)