Cases of defilement continue to be registered in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu.
The district has failed to reduce cases of such nature for the first half of the year.
Last year, 18 cases were reported as the case with this year as the number still remains stagnant.
And the latest case is of the arrest of a 47 year old MacDonald Chautsi from Saidi village, Traditional Authority Kwataine in the district.
Chautsi was arrested on Tuesday on allegations that he had his 13 year old epileptic step daughter.
Ntcheu Police publicist Hastings Chigalu disclosed that the suspect who is married to the mother of the victim defiled the girl while his wife was away.
"The suspect took advantage of his wife's absence to defile the step daughter then instructed her not report to anyone of the ordeal.
But despite the instructions, the victim revealed to her mother who later took the issue to the village headman before alerting the law enforcers," Chigalu disclosed.
Medical examination at Ntcheu District Hospital confirmed that the girl had indeed been defiled.
The suspect, who is also answering murder charges and currently on court bail, has been remanded to Ntcheu prison awaiting trial.
He has been charged with defilement which contravenes section 138 of the Penal Code.
The Zimbabwean government has proposed a minimum mandatory 60-year jail sentence for people convicted of raping the disabled and minors.
At the same time, the government has proposed a mandatory 40-year jail term for all convicted rape cases.
Information minister Christopher Mushohwe, in a statement late on Tuesday, said the proposals had been made in cabinet as deterrent measures to help stem rape cases.
“Accordingly, government resolved as follows, that a sentence of 60 years of imprisonment be imposed for cases of rape of minors between 12 years of age (sic) and the disabled; and that a sentence of 40 years of imprisonment be imposed for the rest of the cases of rape or sodomy,” part of the statement read.
Mushohwe said the new proposals would help guide the proposed amendments to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act [chapter 9:33]: minimum mandatory sentencing for rape.
The Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 considers rape as sex with a person below the age of 16.
Cases of defilement continue to be registered in Malawi, despite the presence of a number of organisations propagating the protection of children’s rights.
Just last week, Police in Mchinji arrested 45 year old Peter Eliot for defiling and infecting a four year old girl with HIV.
Public Relations Officer for Mchinji Police Station Kaitano Lubrino, told the Malawi News Agency the suspect was arrested on July 6 following a complaint by the child’s mother.
According to Lubrino, medical reports revealed that the toddler had been defiled multiple times and was HIV positive.
The suspect confessed to police that he defiled the child two times as part of a ritual that would cleanse him from his sickness and help him attain wealth.
In Nkhotakota, the First Grade Magistrate Court this week sentenced 44 year old herbalist, to 12 years imprisonment for defiling a 14 year old girl.
Police in Mulanje are also keeping in custody a 14 year old boy for allegedly defiling a mentally challenged girl.
The public and child rights activists have been calling for stiffer punishments for perpetrators of the crime to stop the malpractice.
The Ntchisi District Child Protection Committee believes defilement cases in the district are being fuelled by neglect on the part of Police.
They also accuse the police of ‘sitting on’ defilement cases, the Malawi News Agency reports.
According to the district social welfare officer, Dennis Sikwese, most of the defilement cases that are referred to police units and the main station do not reach the court.
This came up during a quarterly meeting in which government sectors and non-governmental organisations represented in the committee presented their reports for ‘child protection’ activities done from April to June.
Responding to the concerns however, Ntchisi Police Child Protection Worker, Phillip Sande explained that investigations into defilement are a complex matter as they go through several stages.
The accusations come amidst growing concern over the rising cases of defilement in the country.
Malawians are of the view that the police are not doing enough are some child rights activists have accused both police and the citizenry at large for not playing their roles in protecting the girl child from unscrupulous people.
Law enforcers in the country have of late not fallen short of accusations.
Just recently all fingers pointed to them as cases of crime rose in the country and they are now being accused of having a hand in the mass carnage on the country’s roads.
The road accidents that have already claimed over 300 lives this year alone are said to have been caused by neglect on the police side as they have failed to ensure that road users adhere to road rules and regulations.