Court orders Balaka man to pay a woman K65,000 as compensation for disclosing her HIV positive status

In a landmark case involving the application of the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Management) Act, the Balaka Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 11th March, ordered a man to compensate a woman he called “wa Edzi” with K65,000.

Frank Nazombe invoked the wrath of the HIV and AIDS Act by calling Enet Matumba “wa Edzi”, a development that led to his arrest and eventual prosecution.

He was charged with offences bordering on using derogatory remarks as well as disclosing the HIV positive status of another person without written consent.

The Act prescribes a K5 million fine and a five-year prison sentence for those found guilty of such offences.

Nazombe was found guilty and convicted on Wednesday, 6th March 2024, and was supposed to be sentenced on Friday, 8th March 2024.

Despite the State praying for the prescribed sentence, First Grade Magistrate Phillip Chibwana said he was moved by Nazombe’s remorsefulness throughout the case, which included his interrupting the spelling out of the sentence to plead with Matumba for forgiveness and the plaintiff’s granting of the same, when meting out the sentence.

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