Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday sentenced a 31-year-old clinical officer identified as George Gwagwala, 31 at Mangochi District Hospital to 19-years imprisonment with hard labor for raping a 20-year-old woman who went to the hospital to seek medical attention for a sore ankle.
Mangochi police station spokesperson Amina Tepani Daudi says the court through Station Prosecution Officer Inspector Amos Mwase heard that the convict was working as a clinician at the health facility.
Daudi says on August 8, 2021, the victim went to the hospital for medical attention as she was having ankle pain and she met the Gwagwala on duty at the casualty ward.
“The clinician told the victim and another patient to follow him and he took them to his hostel. The first to be assisted was the male patient after that the convict invited the female victim into the room. Prosecutor Mwase added that the clinician locked the door and forced himself on the patient, consequently injuring her and tearing her clothes in the process,” Daudi says.
The matter was reported at the Yoneco office who brought the victim to Mangochi Police Station where she was issued a referral letter and the results from the same hospital confirmed that the victim was raped.
Appearing in court, Gwagwala pleaded not guilty to the charge prompting the state to parade four witnesses who testified against him.
In mitigation, Gwagwala asked for the court’s leniency citing that his family invested a lot of money in his studies and all would be wasted if he would be sent to prison.
However, the state quashed his appeal saying that the convict took advantage of the victim’s condition and also violated the rights of the patient.
Mwase further said that the clinician’s immoral behavior could also dent the image of medical workers hence the need for a stiff and custodial sentence.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state, hence the 19-year sentence to serve as a lesson to other would-be offenders.
Gwagwala hails from Helemani Village, Traditional Authority Khwethemule in Thyolo.