The High Court sitting in Mansa has sentenced a pastor to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for rape contrary to section 132 of the penal of the laws of Zambia as amended by act number 2 of 2011.
Before Judge Charles Chanda was Julius Kabaso 40 of Kaole Village in Chief Chimese in Mansa District and a Pastor of a known church in Mansa.
ZANIS reports that particulars of the offence where that Julius Kabaso on 17 September, 2014 had carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 17 years without her consent.
This was after the girl had an epileptic attack and was taken to the pastor for prayers who then took advantage of her.
On 7 April 2015 Kabaso was convicted by the Magistrate Court for the offence but committed the matter to the High Court for sentencing.
In mitigation, Kabaso pleaded with the court to be lenient with him saying he was a first offender and that he was the bread winner taking care of a huge family.
In sentencing him, Judge Chanda said he took the Pastor’s mitigation into account and he deserved leniency as he was the first offender.
Judge Chanda however said as a prophet sent by God to deliver God’s people, he broke the trust of the girl, the church and members of the society by his act.
Judge Chanda said Zambia is blessed that it is a Christian nation, but the rate at which Pastors are taking advantage of the faithful people is alarming.
Judge Chanda added that through the sentence he wants to send a clear message to other would be offenders that Pastors should not use the vulnerability of people for their own benefits.
Judge Chanda then sentenced the Pastor to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date of arrest.