The Blantyre Magistrate’s Court has today sentenced to three years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) a man who burned his wife with a pressing iron last week.
On Tuesday night last week, Daniel Mandevu from Chilomoni Township in Blantyre used a hot pressing iron on his wife on suspicion that she was having an affair with another man.
He pleaded guilty to charges of an act intended to cause grievous harm.
In mitigation, Mandevu pleaded with the court to give him a lenient sentence arguing that he was a first offender and pleaded guilty to the charge thereby saved court’s time.
However, the state through prosecutor Maxon Jere asked for what it called a deterrent sentence considering the pain the victim went through.
Passing the sentence, First Grade Magistrate Diana Mangwana bemoaned increasing cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country.
The Women’s Legal Resources Centre (Wolrec) has since hailed the sentence saying it signifies a step in the right direction.
Speaking today in an interview, Wolrec executive director Maggie Kathewera Banda said the sentencing of Daniel Mandevu by the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court signifies that the court is now responding in the right way to issues of Gender Based Violence by ensuring that perpetrators are punished regardless of where the violence had taken place; whether at home or elsewhere.
“Even though we would have wished for a stiffer sentence, the three years is a good starting point considering that such cases were in the past considered as family issues and referred back to marriage councillors. We are hopeful that this development will help reduce the vice,” said Kathewera Banda.
Kathewera Banda challenged women to come forward and report issues of abuse saying shielding such kind of men is a step backward in as far as ending GBV is concerned.
Meanwhile, the victim, 35-year-old Rose Mandevu has now been discharged from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) where she had been admitted to following the incident.
Daniel Mandevu hails from Mandevu Village in the area of Traditional Authority Somba in Blantyre.