Dedza First Grade Magistrate’s Court on Friday sentenced herbalist Yosefe Madi, 66, to six years imprisonment for raping a 19-year-old patient who sought treatment at his house.
Police prosecutor John Chigundo told the court that in March this year, the girl had an abdominal problem and she was taken to the herbalist by her mother for treatment.
“On 23rd March, a day after being admitted, the herbalist told the girl that she has a small birth canal that is why she was not feeling well,” he said.
The court further heard that the herbalist raped the girl three times and warned her not to reveal to anyone because doing so would result in the charms not being effective.
The cat was let out of the bag when the girl went to Lilongwe for further treatment where medical tests showed that she was four months pregnant.
“The girl revealed that Madi was responsible for the pregnancy,” the prosecutor told the court.
Madi pleaded guilty to the charge and in mitigation asked the court for forgiveness saying he is old and has a family that he looks after.
In his judgement, magistrate Symon Mwambo said the herbalist needed a stiff punishment because he failed to execute his duties professionally and this should serve as a warning to would-be offenders.
Commenting on the matter, Dedza District Herbalist Association chairperson Mwasiyambuyo Njolomole commended the court for the sentence.
“I am deeply disturbed by the behaviour demonstrated by Yosefe Madi. Raping a patient contravenes the Laws of Malawi and the Herbalist Association code of conduct,” said Njolomole. He, therefore, called on Malawians to report any malpractices by herbalists to their association for appropriate action.