ArrestedLILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow ) — Mr Simon Kamwendo,  44, a traditional leader in Lilongwe’s Mchesi Township who defiled an eight-year-old on September 16 2013, has seen his nine-year sentence for defilement been increased with three more years after appeal.

Kamwendo was jailed by Lilongwe Magistrate court for nine years but asked the High Court to look at the case again; on the basis that the State did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he committed the offence.

But High Court judge Charles Mkandawire added three more years, saying his initial nine-year sentence for defilement was manifestly inadequate.

Justice Mkandawire said: “With regard to the [initial] sentence, I see nothing wrong with it. The offence of defilement is a very serious one and this offence is becoming very common.

“It is also a shame that the appellant, who holds a position of trust in his location as a chief, should be found committing such an offence. He is an old man who should have treated the victim as his granddaughter.

“I actually found that the trial court was lenient with him. I, therefore, enhance the sentence from nine years to 12 years imprisonment with hard labour.”

According to Mkandawire, sexual crimes should be punished appropriately, saying children as young as eight are vulnerable and must be protected from such people.

He said the sentence is sending a clear message that anyone who abuses children will face the “proper consequences.”

Standing in the dock listening to the appeal sentence, chief Kamwendo wept.