THE Kasama High Court has slapped a 20-year jail sentence with hard labour on a 26-year-old man of Chikumanino township in Kasama for defiling his eight-year-old niece and infecting her with syphilis.
Ndola High Court judge Mary Mulanda sitting in Kasama, recently upheld the conviction of Emmanuel Musonda and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Passing the sentence, Ms Justice Mulanda said there were aggravating factors in the case because the girl is only eight-years-old and Musonda infected her with a sexually transmitted infection.
“I have considered the fact that you are a first offender who deserves the leniency of this court. However, as was stated by the prosecution that you infected a young girl only aged eight with syphilis, and further, the victim is your niece.
“These are aggravating factors which outweigh the mitigating factors. As such, I sentence you to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from April 5, 2013, the date you were arrested,” Ms Justice Mulanda said.
She granted Musonda leave to appeal to the Supreme Court within 14 days.
In mitigation through defence lawyer Keith Katazo, Musonda asked the court to be lenient on him because he is still youthful and able to reform.
Particulars of the offence are that Musonda on unknown dates but between February and April 8, 2013 in Kasama, had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16.
Evidence before the court is that Musonda defiled the girl on two occasions while her mother, who is Musonda’s sister, had taken their mother for treatment at Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
The court heard that the woman phoned her younger sister and she was informed that her daughter was ill.
The court heard that the woman discovered that her daughter had swollen lips and sores in the mouth when she returned to Kasama.
The woman also told the court that when she examined her daughter, she discovered that the girl had lacerations on her genitals.
The woman testified that she took her daughter to the clinic where it was discovered that Musonda had defiled her and infected her with syphilis.
In his defence, Musonda denied defiling the girl.
He said there was no way he could have defiled the girl because there were other girls he was staying with in the same house.
Musonda also stated that the girl’s parents must have been drunk when they followed him to his sister’s house and made those allegations.
He accused the girl of falsely implicating him.