his week, a video clip of a man defiling a girl somewhere in Mangochi has brought to light how rotten our society has become. The man killed that girl, not only physically but also psychologically.
As if the defilement in itself was not gross abuse, the man had the audacity to record the misdeed, and share it!
From the comments on social media, it is clear that as a society we have lost a nut that should tighten the reasons we hold. It is unfortunate that some attacked the girl instead of feeling sorry for what happened to her. We forget that she is a minor, which is why the crime that was committed was defilement, not rape.
But then, much as the man acted in that senseless and evil manner, I fault those of us who have been sharing the child pornography. The Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act of 2016 defines child pornography as the visual and pornographic materials that depict a person under 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Section 85 of that Act brings to light the various crimes on child pornography. It is criminal to produce, reproduce, procure and even possess child pornography. In fact, possession of child pornography calls for a fine of K10 million and to 15 years imprisonment.
How the law can be enforced, indeed, is the big question!
Nonetheless, the spirit of that law is to protect children. It is inhumane to pounce on the defenseless much as it is brutal criminality to share such pornography.
While we are at it, Judge Agnes Patemba resentenced five defilement cases that were meted at the Nsanje First Grade Magistrates’ Court. The cases were enhanced from 10 to 24 years, nine to 35 years, 14 to 28 years, 14 to 35 years and 10 to 12 years.
Gender minister Patricia Kaliati, Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco) executive director MacBain Mkandawire hailed the enhancements. In her words, Kaliati blessed Patemba, wondering how some old men pounce on little girls and even record the evil deed.
Mkandawire observed that were he handling a defilement case, those guilty would get a life sentence.
Patemba has shown that the lower courts may have been lenient on this matter. It has been a long while since we heard about the higher courts reviewing cases that were tried in lower courts.
The wish is that such resentencing should occur more often. This helps, because some are serving lengthy sentences for petty crimes, while others with dreadful crimes roam free in an hour.
Another silent evil in our society is human trafficking. Unfortunately, you find girls, boys and women are mostly victims of this malaise. It is not without cause that the United Nations (UN) says human trafficking is the second most rampant crime against humanity after drug trafficking.
We have heard of men abducting or eloping with girls to exploit them sexually. Stories of little boys smuggled to work in farms for little or no pay at all. Some men have volunteered to be trafficked into such countries as South Africa with no documentation at all.
This is why it is important that members of Parliament (MPs) have to seriously look into the human trafficking law and look at the gaps.