AFTER several weeks of trial, the State has proved that a preacher of Lusaka’s Kabwata Presbyterian church repeatedly defiled his 11-year old niece.

And having been convicted yesterday, Reverend Allan Muchulu now awaits a meeting with a High Court Judge who will reward his actions by booking him for a long jail stay lasting not less than 18 years.

During trial, it was heard that from 2020, Reverend Muchulu repeatedly sneaked into his niece’s room and instead of telling her children’s Bible stories, the man of the cloth did the unthinkable.

After weeks of enduring abuse, the girl eventually confided in her aunt who in turn brought the issue to attention of the authorities.

In his defence before magistrate Mutinta Mwenya, the preacher accused his wife’s brothers of framing him for defilement because he thwarted their plans to burn their mother to death on suspicions that she is a witch.

Reverend Muchulu said he stayed with the child from September 2020 to August 2022 and sponsored her to school.

Reverend Muchulu said the girl had left his home in August 2022 and went for a holiday to her grandfather’s house upon closing school.

“When schools opened the girl didn’t come back to us, I was informed by my wife that she would not come back on reasons that my brother in law was having dreams of his late daughter who appeared in his dream accusing him of having failed to look after her and that the trend continued with his grandchild,” the reverend said.

“To my surprise in March 2023 I was arrested and charged with defilement. We never sat down as a family to discuss the issue that’s how I found myself in this Court. I stand here being very surprised and shocked that I was accused of committing such a crime our desire was to look after the child because we were family.”

He claimed that he and his wife had been supporting his mother in law after his wife’s siblings cast her off on allegations that she is a witch hence the reason he was framed for defilement.

“My wife and I have been supporting my mother in law so by getting to me they had to use the girl we were keeping in an event that I could in turn not support my wife and mother in law,” explained reverend Muchulu

“Due to the nature of my job as a pastor I have been framed because I believe it is juicy to here what a pastor has done. As far as I know I did not do what they are alleging. The girl was brilliant but at times was stubborn and she could lie a lot. It was very difficult to get the truth from this girl.”

Reverend Muchulu’s claims that the girl was a liar was supported by his wife Jessy Mwanda, a primary school Teacher at Son Shine school.

She said the girl was a petty thief and never told the truth.

Mwanda claimed that her brothers framed her husband of the crime because she refused to handover a certificate of title for their mother’s house so that her eldest brother could use it to obtain a loan.

But in her judgement magistrate Mwenya said it was an afterthought for the clergyman and his ‘backbone’ to tarnish the girl’s character by branding her a liar to merely evade the wheels of justice.

“ looking at the demeanour of the the girl she is young and I am satisfied that she is below 16 years,” she said

“I find the State have managed to prove the charge of defilement against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and I accordingly find him guilty of defilement as charged and I convict him accordingly.”

Magistrate Mwenya further committed the cleric to the High Court for sentencing.



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