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Life imprisonment for defilement

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The High Court sitting in Lilongwe yesterday sentenced 30-year-old Aubrey Kalulu to life imprisonment for defiling a 10-year old girl and infecting her with HIV.

Lilongwe police spokesperson Joseph Kachikho said Judge Ivy Kamanga convicted Kalulu following a review of the case which, had previously been handled by a subordinate court in 2019.

Reports indicate that Kalulu repeatedly defiled daughter to his tenant and seriously injured her private parts.

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She had difficulties in walking and was producing a bad odour.

“The subordinate court, through the then Principal Resident Magistrate Chisomo Msokera, had proposed 30 years in prison for Kalulu,” he said.

However, this time, State lawyer Daniel Kuyokwa asked the court to mete out a harsh sentence.

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He argued the victim had been greatly traumatised following the sexual assault and injury to her private parts.

In mitigation, Kalulu, who was represented by a Legal Aid Bureau lawyer, pleaded for leniency, saying he was a widower who takes care of his eight children.

But, in her determination, Kamanga described Kalulu as irresponsible.

Kamanga also ordered the Ministry of Social Welfare to take care of the convict’s children.

Kalulu, who has been sent to Zomba Central Prison, comes from Chinsapo, Traditional Authority Malili, in Lilongwe.

NGO Gender Coordination Network Chairperson Barbara Banda said the sentence signified a shift in approach to gender-based violence cases.

“This sentence is one such big testimony that our Judiciary has heard our call for stiffer sentences. But, above all, it sends a general message to perpetrators of the vice,” she said

Gender activist Emma Kaliya commended the court for following provisions of the Penal Code, which provides for life sentence.

“That’s what is in the Penal Code. She has simply applied [provisions of] the law. That is the maximum sentence for defilement. This is what was expected by Malawians and I think people will start to learn from that,” she said

The sentence comes at a time the country has witnessed escalating cases of defilement and rape.

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