Police in Mzuzu on Tuesday arrested a clinical officer at Mzuzu Central Hospital on suspicion that he raped a patient admitted to the referral facility with a mental ailment.
Mzuzu Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola confirmed the development, saying the suspect raped the patient right in the treatment room. She was on sedatives as part of her treatment.
Chapola identified the suspect as Hope Chipwatali, 36.
"Our investigations indicate that the victim (name withheld), aged 35, was admitted to the referral facility with a mental illness on Sunday. On Tuesday, one of the nurses on duty took the patient to the treatment room where she left her with the suspect and went out," said Chapola.
He said after a long stay outside the treatment room, the nurse thought of checking on the condition of the patient. She entered the treatment room without knocking.
"That is when she found the suspect forcing himself on the patient. We believe the suspect took advantage of the patient's mental condition," he said.
According to police publicist, the nurse,shocked with what she saw, reported the matter to her superiors who rushed to the treatment room to verify what she had narrated.
Chipwatali has since been slapped with a charge of defilement of an imbecile contrary with Section 139 of the penal code.
"This offence, which is characterised as a felony, attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour. The suspect will appear in court soon to answer the charge," said Chapola.