Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (Yece) executive director Lucky Mbewe has said there is need for court rulings in Malawi to be in line with the country’s Constitution.
Mbewe’s comments on Thursday follow a recent ruling by the Mponela First Grade Magistrate’s Court which fined an alleged sex worker K5 000 or in default to serve three months in jail for dumping a seven-month-old child in a woodlot.
The convict, Jane Nkhoma, 23, from the central Malawi district of Ntchisi pleaded guilty to the charge and told magistrate McArthur Mtalimanja that she dumped the baby after its father denied responsibility.
Mbewe, however, said such lenient sentences will make the public lose trust in the judicial system.
“As you remember, another magistrate in the same district did not find a child defiler guilty since the child did not feel pain when she was being defiled. I feel magistrates are being unreasonable when giving their sentences,” said Mbewe.
He also called for a review of the legislation that deals with children matters.
Mponela Police spokesperson Kondwani Kandiado said Nkhoma was arrested on January 14 2013 after she dumped the baby in the woodlot near Mphimbi Village, four kilometres from Mponela Trading Centre.