The convict, Isaac Mwakapoya from the northern region district is reported to have taken the girl to his house where they were living as husband and wife.
According to Nkhatabay Police publicist Ignatius Esau, the matter was brought to the attention of the police when the girl’s mother filed a missing persons report.
The girl was recovered from Mwakopoya’s house and later taken to Kawalazi health center where defilement was confirmed.
The man however pleaded not guilty to the offence, arguing that the victim had deceived him by saying she was 22 years old.
As he passed sentence, First Grade Magistrate, Anthony Banda expressed concern over the rise in cases of defilement in the district, reprimanding the convict for believing the teenager was 22 years of age.
This comes amidst growing concern from the citizenry and law enforcers of the rising cases of defilement in the country.
According the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare some of the factors contributing to this are inadequate information, poor documentation of the incidences, progression and trends and the culture of silence where incidences of defilement are not reported.
The latest report by the ministry indicates that one in every five girls and one in every seven boys experience sexual abuse before turning 18.
Responding to an emailed questionnaire, the Gender Ministry’s spokesperson, Lucy Bandazi affirms that: “Government would want to completely eliminate defilement but it requires joint efforts and the Ministry is calling upon all Malawians, Civil society organizations, faith based organizations and any other person of goodwill to join hands with the ministry to protect the children.”
Among the strategies, government has avowed to ensure full course of laws such as the Child Care Justice, and Protection, Marriage Divorce and Family Relations, Gender Equality, and the Trafficking in Persons Acts.