Malawians and other nationals on Wednesday petitioned the Attorney General (AG) over a magistrate’s decision in Dowa to acquit a defilement suspect.
A concerned Malawian, Steveria Kadangwe, opened a Facebook page ‘petition against Dowa case ruling’ and over 1 000 people signed the online petition.
Kadangwe and Muva Sambo, accompanied by Eye of the Child executive director Maxwell Matewere, presented the petition at the High Court in Blantyre.
The petition is addressed to the AG, but copied to the Chief Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Clerk of Parliament and the national police prosecutor, among others.
People that appended their signatures on the social network page included those from the USA, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, China, Finland, Brazil, Australia and African countries such as Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa.
Dowa first grade magistrate Titus Banda acquitted a 50-year-old Burundian Seleman Jonathan who allegedly defiled a 10-year-old girl on grounds that the medical report was not conclusive and that she did not feel pain during the act.
The petitioners demand that the judgement be quashed by a higher authority and call for retrial; that action be taken against the magistrate; that an investigation be undertaken to trace if there were underhand dealings, among others.
Kadangwe said she is aware the police appealed against the judgement, but as concerned citizens, they want justice to prevail.
Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court of Malawi acting deputy registrar Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa received the Blantyre petition on behalf of the Chief Justice.