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Police rape convict sentencing November 24

WALKS OUT OF COURT—Chagaga (right)

Ex-Police officer, Andrew Chagaga, who was convicted of raping a Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (Mubas) student, is expected to be sentenced on November 24.

High Court Judge Vikochi Chima will deliver the sentence, bringing to a close a case that drew attention from human rights groups.

Chagaga was convicted on July 15 this year by Blantyre First Grade Magistrate Soka Banda.

Following the conviction, State lawyers were granted an application to have the case moved to the High Court, saying Chagaga deserved a stiff punishment.

While the lawyers gave mitigating as well as aggravating factors in court yesterday ahead of Chima’s sentencing, the State paraded the victim’s mother as a witness.

She testified in court that her daughter, the victim, has been affected in her spiritual, social and overall life due to the ordeal. She also added that the victim has not been attending school and as the mother— the breadwinner—she has been failing to conduct her usual business due to the case for the past 10 months.

This, among other factors, has led the State to ask Chima to hand more than 42 years to the rape convict.

Nonetheless, defence lawyer Ian Kumpita stated that the court should not give a stiff punishment to Chagaga, seeing that, among others, he is a first time offender, a married man, and he has already started to face the consequences of his actions as he has lost his job.

Chagaga was found guilty of raping the student, a 17-year-old, twice during the night of December 12 while she was in police custody over an idle and disorderly charge.

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