March 20, 2015
The second grade magistrate court in Malawi’s Balaka district has ordered a 16 year old pupil to pay K80, 000 [about $186] in damages for impregnating a fellow primary school learner.
The court also ordered the Standard Seven boy, Gilbert Joseph to pay another K3, 500 for other costs. He is supposed to be paying K5, 000 every month.
The two had been in a relationship since 2013 and agreed to marry after completing their education. The girl, who is his age-mate, fell pregnant last year and when the issue was brought to the boy he denied responsibility, states the court records.
The girl is on record to have told the court that:- “When I told him I am pregnant he denied, then I told my mother who approached him, but denied again.”
This forced her parents to report the issue to police where they were referred to the court.
Joseph admitted, before the court, that the girl was his girlfriend but said their relationship ended in April last year.
“In January 2015 it’s when I heard I have impregnated her. I was very surprised,” said Joseph.
In his judgment, Magistrate Victor Sibu said he found the boy liable for adultery because of his admission that he knew the girl as his ex-girlfriend.
Said Sibu: “Having listened to the submissions and the evidences, the court has observed that it is indisputable the two were friends from 2013 to unknown date because there was no evidence for the same.
“Because the defendant admitted he knows the girl as his ex-girlfriend, hence, to say that he’s not responsible for the pregnancy cannot stand before this court because there is no convincing evidence. Therefore, he is liable for adultery.”
In mitigation, the boy asked the court for leniency saying he is not working.
Magistrate Sibu has since given the boy chance to appeal within 14 days.
Teenage pregnancies are rampant in most rural areas of the country forcing a lot of girls to drop out of school.
Joseph hails from Manyekhula Village in Traditional Authority Nsamala’s area in the district. He is a pupil at Nsaluzaana Primary School.
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