Limbe Police Station officer Collins Mwambiwa was on Thursday sentenced to 18 years jail term for raping and abducting a 17-year-old girl.

The court heard that in May this year, the girl was taken to Limbe Victim Support Unit by her parents for counselling where the convict advised the parents to leave the girl with him, saying counselling is a long process.

An artist’s impression of the arrest

However, while he was alone with the girl during counselling, Mwambiwa raped the victim. The matter was reported to police, leading to Mwambiwa’s arrest.  He pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and abduction. However, Mwambiwa was convicted last Tuesday after a full trial.

In mitigation Mwambiwa, through his lawyer Humphreys Panyanja from the Legal Aid Bureau, pleaded for a lenient sentence, arguing he is a first offender, relatively young, married with two children to take care of and that he is asthmatic.

But the State, through regional prosecution inspector superintendent Patricio Filimoni, asked for a stiff penalty.

Filimoni noted that the first offence was serious and attracts a maximum penalty of death or life imprisonment while the second offence of abduction has a maximum sentence of 10 years.

He also said the convict, being a police officer, had breached trust between the police and the community as well as tarnished the image of the whole Malawi Police Service, adding that as a police officer Mwambiwa was supposed to provide protection to the child.

Concurring with Filimoni, senior resident magistrate Peter Kandulu gave the convict 18 years for the first count and five years for the second count, to run concurrently. n

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