A THIRTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD woman of Kapiri Mposhi in Central Province has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour by the Kabwe High Court for procuring young women for prostitution.

Maria Namwinga of Ndeke Township is said to have procured the women, including a 15-year-old pregnant girl, to engage in sex trade between June 1 and July 18, last year.
Kabwe High Court judge Dominic Sichinga jailed the woman after she was earlier convicted by a Kapiri Mposhi magistrate’s court.
During trial, the minor informed the court that Namwinga had told her to sleep with different men in exchange for money which was collected by the convict.

The minor had travelled to Kapiri Mposhi to visit her aunt, but was asked to sleep in Namwinga’s house because she (her aunt) usually fought with her husband at night.
“As we slept, someone I did not know came, then Namwinga told me that the man had K15 and that I should sleep with him. He was called Bashi Uni and was older than me,” the girl said.

“So I slept with Bashi Uni, he undressed me and he came on top of me and everything happened. He used a condom, but I did not see it afterwards. After he had finished, I felt some pain,” she said.
The court heard that Namwinga took the girls to a bar the following day, where she collected K40 from two men before asking the ladies to sleep with them at different times.
“So for that period I slept with about nine to 10 different men.

As for the last man, he said he could look for a house or give me money to go back to Kabwe with my friend,” she said.
It was at this point that the matter was reported to the police before Namwinga was arrested.
“I was impregnated by a pupil from Kabwe. I came to Kapiri Mposhi already pregnant, but Namwinga told me it was okay for me to sleep with the men and that I would deliver properly,” she said.

In mitigation, Namwinga asked for leniency, saying she deeply regretted her actions and that she was a first offender.
Mr Justice Sichinga told Namwinga that the offence she had committed was a serious one, whose maximum sentence was life imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 20 years.