THE Kasama High Court has sentenced a 26-year-old teacher of Shiwang’andu Secondary School in Chinsali to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling and impregnating a 14-year-old grade nine pupil.
Joseph Mulenga, of unknown house number but in Location township in Chinsali, was charged with defilement and he pleaded not guilty.
In passing the sentence, Lusaka High Court Judge Mwamba Chanda, sitting in Kasama recently, said the fact that the victim was Mulenga’s pupil is an aggravating factor and that he was reckless to have had sex with his pupil.
Particulars of the offence are that on dates unknown between July and October last year, Mulenga had carnal knowledge of the victim.
“I have taken into consideration the mitigation factors by the accused’s learned counsel. However, there are aggravating factors in this matter in that the child is the convict’s pupil. The convict was duty-bound to ensure that his pupils were protected from sexual abuse.
“I find that the convict was reckless in enticing his pupil to have sexual intercourse with him. I, therefore, sentence you to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from February 27, 2015, it being the date of your arrest,” Ms Chanda said.
During trial, the victim told the court that Mulenga had asked her to go to his house to help him mark examination papers for Grade Seven pupils, which she did.
She said Mulenga then dragged her to his bedroom and took off her clothes before having sex with her.
The girl’s parents reported the matter to police when they discovered that she was pregnant.
In his defence, Mulenga, who elected to give unsworn evidence, denied having defiled the victim saying he was in Kabwe at the time.
But in mitigation, defence lawyer Keith Katazo begged the court for leniency, stating that Mulenga was remorseful for his actions.
Mr Katazo said being a civil servant, the convict’s future career was dented, which in itself was a life-time punishment.
“My lady, the convict in here is a teacher and being a civil servant, his future has been dented for life, hence we pray for a lighter sentence from this honourable court,” Mr Katazo said.