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๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—›๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต ๐—–๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐Ÿณ-๐˜†๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป

๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜“๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข

The High Court in Zomba has overturned the conviction and sentence of Pastor Edward Samukera of Living Waters Church, who was convicted of rape and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate Court in 2022.

At the time Samukera was given his sentence on 31 October, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe pronounced that the pastor was guilty of the offense where the victim was a 16-year-old girl living in the pastorโ€™s house.

It was heard in the lower court that Samukera had sexual intercourse without consent with the girl four times in Mangochi on or about the months of March to April 2021.

Led by counsel from Legal Aid Bureau, Pastor Edward Samukera took the matter to the High Court in Zomba to have the conviction quashed and the sentence set aside as he was dissatisfied with the lower courtโ€™s judgment.

In the appeal case, Senior Legal Aid Advocate Alfred Masamba argued that the lower Court made a mistake in law in convicting Samukera when the evidence by the State did not prove all the elements of the offense.

He also argued that the lower court erred in convicting Samukera based on the uncorroborated evidence of the victim and further that the Senior Resident Magistrate court was wrong to convict him using circumstantial evidence which did not point to the guilt of the appellant.

Specifically, Counsel Masamba put it to the High Court that the magistrate rightly noted that there was no medical examination to prove that penetration on the victim was done by the appellant.

โ€œThe offense of rape in this matter is alleged to have happened between the months of March and April 2021 and the matter was only reported to the police in November 2021 after a prophet stated that he noticed behavioral changes in the victim.

The victim was brought before medical personnel who upon examining her came up with a conclusion that the victim had been penetrated but he could not state this was a penile penetration or when this penetration took place.

The medical personnel also stated, there was no way of linking the appellant to the penetration,โ€ further argued Counsel Masamba.

The victim in the case as argued by the Legal Aid Counsel said she opened up to a prophet after being asked once whether she was being raped whilst in the house of Pastor Samukera. She claimed that she kept the incident to herself for close to 7 months because the appellant threatened her.

On grounds that were laid by Counsel Masamba on behalf of Samukera, High Court Judge Texious Masoamphambe agreed that the conviction was unwarranted and that the appellant was initially not guilty, hence ordering his release.-(Story Credit: Legal Aid Bureau)

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