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The Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mangochi, sentenced Mangochi based pastor Christopher Phiri to 19 years imprisonment for having sexual activity with a child. The court also sentenced him to 13 years imprisonment for indecent assault. These two sentences will run concurrently and therefore, will be imprisoned for 19 years.

Christopher Phiri took over the responsibility to care for the victim in September 2023 after taking her from his former wife’s custody who he divorced when the victim was only 7 months old. The sexual acts happened in the same period of September to November 2023.

In its judgment, the court stated that the convict’s conduct was not only against the law but that it was also in total disjunction with his position in society as a leader of a church. The state was being represented by Brenda Khwale, a lawyer from the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) with support from Inspector Mwase and Inspector Wisiki from Mangochi Police Station.