Dowa Police has appealed a case in which first grade magistrate Titus Banda acquitted a 50-year-old Rwandan who allegedly raped a 10 year-old.
According to Dowa Police public relations officer Richard Kaponda, the girl was allegedly raped when she went to Dzaleka Refugee Camp to recharge her mother’s phone at Seleman Jonathan’s shop.
“The mother of the girl noticed that her daughter had problems walking and doing house chores. After asking her what had happened, she was told of the rape and she reported the case to police,” he said.
Kaponda said a medical report confirmed that the girl was raped; hence, the suspect was arrested on December 13 2012.
“On December 31, the matter was in Dowa First Grade Magistrate’s Court and the magistrate ruled that the suspect be acquitted on the premises that the defiled girl did not feel any pain during the rape, the victim did not report the matter to her parents and the medical report did not give in-depth evidence to show that the girl was raped.
“As police, we feel that the judgement was unsatisfactory and we have appealed so that the case can be reviewed,” said Kaponda.
High Court acting registrar Michael Tembo said they heard of the judgement from the media and have since called for the judgement files for review.
Tembo said the story attracted a lot of public interest which made the court decide to review the judgement.
“The judgement files have already been sent to the High Court for review. After the review, the court will decide to overwrite the first judgement or maintain it based on what it will find. The accused will also be dealt with according to the reviewed judgement,” said Tembo.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) chairperson John-Gift Mwakhwawa said the judgement needs to be investigated because if the man slept with the girl without her consent, there was an element of rape.
“A judgement cannot be passed on the question of pain because if the consent to sleep with her was by force, threat or duress, there is an element of rape.
“The issue should be critically looked into in order to clear any misconceptions that may have occurred. To say a person should be acquitted for the said premises is wrong because they are not defensive and
should not mitigate the judgement passed,” said Mwakhwawa.