Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has convicted and sentenced Edward Samkera, 32, a pastor of Living Waters Church based at Chilipa in Mangochi to 7 years imprisonment with hard labour for raping an 18-year-old girl who was under his custody.
Mangochi Police Station Public Relations Officer Sub Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi told Muslim Media Agency that the court heard through Station Prosecution Officer(SPO) lnspector Amos Mwase that the victim and her family are congregants of the said church.
“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,” Daudi says.
She adds,” 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.”
According to Daudi, prosecutor Mwase added that the convict’s nasty behaviour escalated and he started visiting the victim’s bedroom where he raped her several times during day and night hours.
On November 8, 2021, after being abused for 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. The results from Chilipa Health Centre confirmed that the victim was being raped.
Appearing in court, 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.
In his submission, prosecutor Mwase reminded the court that as a guardian, the convict was supposed to protect and not exploit the girl. Mwase further said that the convict’s immoral behavior could also dent the image of men of God hence the need for a stiff custodial sentence.
Passing the sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state hence pronounced the 7-year-jail sentence to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
Samkera hails from Manyowe Village, Traditional Authority Kuntaja in Blantyre District.