A case that was reported through YONECO Toll free Child Helpline in May of 2017 concerning a catholic priest from Zomba who defiled and impregnated a 15-year-old primary school leaner, has been concluded with a 17 year-jail sentence to the offender.
The case was firstly reported by the girl’s father who called YONECO for support The father reported that the child left her home for school and did not return till late in the afternoon. Up on following up the matter with the police, it was realised that the girl was with the Mweta who at the time, had left the parish and rented a house for the girl somewhere in Liwonde township.
Some months later, the girl returned home while pregnant and the offender made of tactics to obstruct justice. Among other things, the offender attempted to bribe the law enforcers as well as the father of the survivor of his unscrupulousness. At some point, the girl’s parents, social welfare officers and the police agreed to send the girl to YONECO’s Safe Place and the offender also attempted to know where the is located.
One of the concern residents of Zomba who attended the court session stated that she was happy that justice had finally taken its course. The lady further stated that the sentence will deter other would-be offenders who think that fame, influence are tools they can use to commit such offences and walk freely.
YONECO’s Tithandizane Helpline Services operates 24 hours every day and currently, the Centre has three toll free lines namely; Child Helpline (116), Gender Based Violence Crisis Line (5600) as well as the Drug and Substance Hotline (6600).