In a typical village set-up where family members share a one-room house, one man in Nsanje was never deterred in his mission to fulfill the desires of his heart by defiling his 10-year-old step-daughter.
Today, the man sits in a prison cell as he begins his 12-year sentence handed down on him by the Nsanje First Grade Magistrate’s Court two weeks ago.
He was caught red-handed by his wife as the three slept in the same room. Even then, he still found the strength to plead not guilty to the crime.
He even added salt to the wife’s injury by accusing her of framing him.
The drama, according to records at Nsanje Police Station, unfolded as the wife awoke in the middle of the night to find him missing from their matrimonial bed.
It was not long before she realised that he had abandoned her for his 10-year-old daughter who was sleeping not far from the couple in the same room.
Nsanje Police officer in-charge, senior assistant commissioner of Police Sekani Tembo said the incident occurred in December last year.
He said the wife reported the matter to police.
A medical report from Nsanje District Hospital, signed by district health officer Dr Medison Matchaya, confirmed the defilement.
Two witnesses paraded by police prosecutor Justice Manolo nailed the case to secure a conviction. According to police records, the man blamed his wife for setting him up.
Delivering the sentence, magistrate Anderson Masanjala said defilement, which is contrary to Section 138 (1) of the Penal Code, is a serious offence that attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
He bemoaned the skyrocketing cases of defilement in the district, saying those who are supposed to protect the girls from all forms of harassment have turned into perpetrators.