By Kondwani Magombo
Mangochi, September 12, Mana: A 28-year-old Mozambican national, Jafali Pedro has been sentenced to a 12-year jail term in Mangochi for trafficking minors contrary to Section 15 (1) of the Trafficking in Persons Act.
Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate Court handed down the sentence on Friday after convicting Pedro for the said offence.
The Court heard from Eastern Region Police Headquarters Prosecution Officer, Assistant Superintendent Josephine Chigawa, that Pedro was intercepted on August 27, 2020 at Mkanje crossing border point in company of four Malawian teenagers enroute to Mozambique.
The State prosecutor said when quizzed, Pedro lied to the officers that he was taking the juveniles to their relatives living in Mozambique.
“But when the Officers interrogated the teenagers, they revealed that they had been taken to do work in the Pedro’s farm in Mozambique,” he explained.
Pedro pleaded guilty to the charge and in mitigation he prayed for leniency saying he looks after orphans and his aged mother.
The State crushed the appeal saying cases of human trafficking are rampant along the borders of Malawi.
“Traffickers use manipulation and other means to lure the young ones into dubious deals which threaten their future, hence the need for stiff sentence to deter others from committing similar offence,” Chigawa said.
Senior Resident Magistrate Joshua Nkhono concurred with the state prosecutor and sentenced Pedro to a 12-year jail term.
Pedro hails from Chitanda Village, Traditional Authority (TA) Masangulu, Ngauma District in Mozambique.