The First Grade Magistrate court in Mponela-Dowa on Friday sentenced and convicted a 54-year-old Group Village headman Dambalira to six (6) years imprisonment with hard labour for defilement contrary to section 138(1) of the penal code.
According to Mponela Police Public Relations Officer Kondwani Kandiado, it was heard in court that on 26 September this year, the victim (name withheld) who is a step daughter to the chief went to draw water at a nearby borehole at around 7 pm where she was approached by her step father.
It was further heard that group village headman Dambalira whose real name is Daniel Bizwick grabbed the girl and dragged her to the nearest church where he defiled her.
“The uncle to the girl who stays closer to the church followed what was happening and reported the matter to police who arrested Bizwick," state prosecutor Sammy Liwonde told the jam packed court.
During court proceedings, the state prosecutor asked the court to mete out a stiffer sentence arguing that chiefs are supposed to protect children at all times from any form of abuse.
He said a stiffer sentence would therefore help deter would be offenders.
In mitigation, Bizwick pleaded with the court to hand him a lighter sentence saying besides being aged and having three wives and eleven children, he had mental illness.
But first Grade Magistrate Yohane Nkhata slapped Bizwick with a 6- year custodial sentence saying what he did tarnishes the good image of the chiefs in the country.
In a related development, a 37-year-old man Masanilo Chimwembe who thought of quenching his lust by defiling and impregnating his step daughter will sweat and toil in prison for the next 12- years.
The court heard that the convict had been defiling the girl for three times and ended up impregnating her.
Bizwick hails from Dambalira village in the area of Traditional Authority Dzoole while Masanilo Chimwembe hails from Juma village in the area of T/A Chakhaza in Dowa.
Section 3, of Child Care, Protection and Justice act of 2010 states that parents has the responsibility of protecting their children from violence, abuse, exploitation, oppression and exposure to physical, mental, social and moral hazards.
Meanwhile, police in Mponela are advising step fathers not to take their step daughters as wives.