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Court acquits GBM in Chisokone assault

THE Kitwe Magistrate’s Court has acquitted United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration Geoffrey Mwamba of assault charges citing incoherent

and doubtful evidence against him.
This is in a case in which Mwamba was charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence were that Mwamba in May 29, last year, in Kitwe, jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, assaulted Moses Katongo and occasioned him actual bodily harm.
In the other count, it was alleged that Mwamba assaulted Francis Musonda and occasioned him actual bodily harm.
The first and second counts in which Mwamba was charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of peace and malicious damage to property were discontinued via a nolle prosequi.
When the matter of the assault cases in the second count and fourth counts came up for ruling yesterday, Kitwe magistrate Malota Phiri ruled that the testimony of the key prosecution witnesses was questionable.
Magistrate Phiri said it was indisputable that both Katongo and Musonda, the complainants in the matter, were assaulted when rival political opponents clashed at Kitwe’s Chisokone market last year.
He said the evidence that some of the witnesses gave in court differed from the statements they gave to the police after the incident occurred and that they failed to give answers during cross examination.
Magistrate Phiri said in criminal law, a person may not be convicted of a crime unless the prosecution proves its case beyond any reasonable doubt.
“But the prosecution’s evidence was full of incoherence, discrepancies, and therefore lacked credibility,” he said.
He said the whole fracas that took place at Chisokone market at the time could have been avoided had the two rival parties [Patriotic Front and UPND] exercised tolerance and maturity.
He dismissed the case and set Mwamba free.
And in an interview after his acquittal, Mwamba said his innocence had been proven by the courts.