CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
ANEMOTIONAL and sombre moment gripped the courtroom as Jacqueline Mwiindwa, the 36-year-old health care administrator of Makeni, was acquitted of murder of her husband Koffi Milumbe after failure by the prosecution to make a case beyond any reasonable doubt.
In this case, Mwiindwa, of Makeni Bonaventure in Lusaka, was charged with the murder of Mr Milumbe after allegedly running over him.
When the case came up before High Court judge Charles Chanda, he found that the prosecution had failed to make a case beyond any reasonable doubt.
“On the totality of the evidence, I find that this case was structured in a realm of speculation. The prosecution failed to make out a case against the accused person. Jacqueline Mwiindwa, you are hereby acquitted,” Mr Justice Chanda said.
Mr Justice Chanda said he was alarmed by the decision by the police to charge Ms Mwiindwa with murder based on a statement by one of the witnesses, instead of conducting effective and efficient investigations.
He said the police merely drew an inference that a witness was told by Mr Milumbe that he was hurt by Ms Mwiindwa as he was holding on to the vehicle.
Mr Justice Chanda said evidence from the pathologist revealed that Mr Milumbe died as a result of a road traffic accident as the injuries he had sustained were consistent with one who was hit by a fast moving vehicle.
He found that al l the prosecution witnesses exonerated Ms Mwiindwa as they all stated that they had not seen her run over Mr Milumbe.
Mr Justice Chanda noted that had Ms Mwiindwa run over the deceased, there would have been blood spots along the stretch of the road to where he let go of the vehicle, and that he would not have been in a position to make the call which he did to his brother, let alone walk, considering the injuries.
And Mwiindwa, who was clad in a black suit, was visibly emotional following her acquittal and was seen crying as she left the courtroom.