Police rape case verdict adjourned
By Gary Samati
A police officer, Andrew Chagaga, who is accused of raping a 17-year-old Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences student, will have to wait a bit longer before hearing his fate.
Blantyre Magistrate Tsoka Banda was expected to give his verdict yesterday, but he has adjourned the matter to 12 July next week.
Chagaga was earlier found with a case to answer, regarding allegations that he raped the student twice during the late hours of 12 December and the early hours of 13 December while the alleged victim was in police custody at Limbe Police Station in Blantyre.
Nonetheless, the human rights activists who have been storming the court premises in support of the alleged victim were present at the premises to show their support.
After news about the adjournment, Dunstan Chunda, Executive Director of Mulelewaka Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization, said delays in completing the case is will serve as an injustice to the victim.
“We are disappointed as an organization for adjourning the judgment. The case has taken far too long. The victim is tired. The trauma she suffered at the hands of the police is crippling her and no longer feels safe to move around in fear of the police, she is not able to attend college and her education is suffering. Further delay in the case is causing more trauma to the child.
“As an organization, Mulelewaka Foundation would like to request that the time scales are explicit. As is the case with the 17-year-old experience, having a clear time table of the judgment, where children are involved would help prevent any further anxiety caused by situations especially where child abuse is involved,” he said.
State lawyer Ruth Kaima said the Magistrate adjourned the case because he went to his home village and he is not yet back.