A mobile court sitting at Traditional Authority (T/A) Kayembe headquarters in Dowa on Tuesday sentenced two men after convicting them of defilement.
Mponela first grade magistrate Talakwanji Mdala sentenced 29-year-old (name concealed to protect the victim’s identity) from Kawamba Village, T/A Mponela, Dowa to 14 years imprisonment for defiling his nine-year-old niece.
The same court also sentenced Semu Nephtali to 12 years in prison for being in a sexual relationship with a minor aged 16.
Both cases were recorded as defilement which is contrary to Section 138 Sub- section 1 of the Penal Code.
Mdala said he gave out stiffer penalties to send a strong message to would-be perpetrators.
The magistrate hailed the idea of mobile courts, saying they are helping to fight for gender justice for victimised women and girls right in their communities.
Mdala said: “I am happy to pass the judgements in front of community members who came to witness the court proceedings.
“Most of community members think we joke when we say gender-based violence (GBV) is a crime, but today they have seen it for themselves when I sentenced the two defilers.
“This should serve as serious warning to would-be perpetrators of GBV and other crimes.”
Mobile courts are being championed by Girls Empowernment Network (Genet) under its Nkhaza Toto project which is funded by the Comic Relief.
Genet project officer Tassie Chirwa described the sentencing of the two defilers as a welcome development.