A teacher accused of auctioning a girl with albinism he allegedly promised to marry has denied the charge after a 40-minute appearance at Mzuzu Court House on Tuesday.
Philip Ngulube, 21, who teaches at Mongo Primary School in Mzimba, faced principal resident magistrate Gladys Gondwe to take plea, having been charged with attempted abduction with intent to murder after he reportedly betrothed a 17-year-old Form Two girl at Mzimba Secondary School.
Ngulube stands accused of offering the minor for sale at K6 million to a Tanzanian businessperson who reported the matter to police on September 12.
However, Ngulube pleaded not guilty. The court then adjourned the case to September 30, when State prosecutors are expected to parade seven witnesses to prove their case.
The secondary school learner is also expected to present her case when the court reconvenes.
Regional prosecutions officer Christopher Katani said Ngulube pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to commit a felony when the court first met on September 15.
The prosecutor was happy the State has amended the charge after admittedly securing evidence that the suspect was kidnapped for murder.
But Ngulube surprised the magistrate when he pleaded not guilty of attempting to kidnap, arguing his intention was to marry the girl—not to kill.
The magistrate entered the not-guilty plea, giving the accused a chance to disprove the prosecution’s assertion that he had already secured a market for the victim.