The Mzuzu Principal Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a man accused of abducting a 17-year-old girl with albinism to six years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL).
Philip Ngulube, 21, a teacher at Mongo Primary School in Mzimba, was charged with attempted abduction with intent to murder after he reportedly got betrothed to the Form Two girl at Mzimba Secondary School, a charge he denied.
He was arrested on September 12 following his alleged attempt to offer the minor for sale to a Tanzanian businessperson who reported the matter to police.
In her five-minute judgement yesterday, principal resident magistrate Gladys Gondwe said the sentence is meant to make the suspect, who was already convicted on October 26, appreciate the gravity of his action.
She said the maximum sentence for his offence as per Section 402 of the Penal Code is seven years IHL.
Gondwe said she settled for the stiff penalty because the girl has been affected psychologically such that she has stopped schooling at a time society is advocating for the education of the girl child.
In an interview after the sentence, regional prosecutions officer Christopher Katani expressed satisfaction with the sentence, saying it will deter would be offenders.
He said this is the first conviction of an albino abductor in the Northern Region which, he said, will set precedence for other cases. n