By Staff Writer:
A 32-year-old pastor identified as Edward Samkera for Living Waters Church who hails from Manyowe Village, Traditional Authority Kuntaja in Blantyre District has been convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for raping an 18-year-old girl who was under his custody in Mangochi.
Station Prosecution Officer ( SPO) Inspector Amos Mwase told the Court that the victim and her family are congregants of the said church and during the month of February, 2021 the convict and his wife asked the victim’s parents to allow her to be staying with them at their house a thing which the parents agreed.
He said few months later, as the victim returned from drawing water one day, the convict hugged and caressed her from the back and warned her not to disclose to anyone and the behaviour escalated reaching to the point of visiting the victim’s bedroom where he raped her several times during day and night hours.
Mwase further explained that on 8th November, 2021 after being abused so long, the girl gathered courage and narrated the ordeal to the prophet of the same church who reported the matter at Chilipa Police unit where she was issued with a referral letter to the hospital and results from Chilipa Health Center confirmed that the victim was being raped.
However, Samkera pleaded not guilty to the charge prompting the state to parade five witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt
In mitigation, the Pastor asked for the court’s leniency saying he is a breadwinner for his family and has church obligations but in his submission, prosecutor Mwase reminded the court that as a guardian, the convict was supposed to protect and not exploit the girl and that the convict’s immoral behavior could dent the image of men of God hence the need for a stiff custodial sentence.
Passing sentence on 1st September, 2022, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state hence pronounced the seven-year-jail sentence to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.