Francis Mangani vs. The Republic: High Court of Malawi, 2007
|Date||November 7, 201812:16 pm|
|Subject||Abduction, Early marriage|
This is a case of abduction of a 14 year old girl. The appellant 24 was charged and convicted of the offence of abduction. Even though he pleaded guilty to the charge, he nonetheless argued that, under the Constitution, it was lawful to marry a girl of 14 years. The Court however dismissed his arguments and held that the said provision of the Constitution had been misconstrued by the appellant as it provided that marriage of persons between the ages of 15-18 must be with the blessing and consent of the parents or guardians, which was not the case in the present case and thereby constituted abduction. He was accordingly sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment. On appeal, the High Court upheld the said judgment while holding that, even though the maximum sentence for the offence was 24 months’ imprisonment, the sentence of 21 months was rather excessive, considering the fact that the appellant was a first-time offender, and the case was a misdemeanor and one of strict liability. In that regard, the sentence was reduced to 3 months.
In The High Court Of Malawi, Principal Registry: Criminal Appeal Number 3 Of 2007. Between: Francis Mangani vs. The Republic