Mzimba North District Child Protection Committee has faulted the Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court for acquitting two suspects of Indian origin—Dineshawar Mahto, 50, and Kisish Kumar, 24—who were answering defilement charges.
The two were accused of abducting and defiling three girls aged between14 and 15 in March this year at Chigwere in the city.
The committee, sitting last week in preparation for this year’s commemorations of Day of the African Child which falls on June 16, felt let down by the court’s verdict considering that medical reports indicated that the girls were defiled.
On June 26, the court acquitted the accused on grounds that the State failed to provide evidence that they committed the offence.
Committee chairperson Evans Mwale said the judgement has raised questions on whether there is progress in the fight against child abuse in the country.
“As a committee, we will sit down to discuss the way forward because it will not be right to be commemorating Day of the African Child when children’s rights continue to be violated,” he said.
Mzimba North district social welfare officer Edward Chisanga said he was equally surprised to learn of the suspects’ acquittal despite his office having reliable evidence that the girls were abducted and defiled.