By MUBANGA NONDO
A NINETY-THREE-YEAR-OLD man of Mukolwe village in Masaiti district has been acquitted of defilement by the Ndola Magistrates Court because the State failed to prove its case against him.
It was alleged that Katanga Kashala, unemployed, was charged with carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16, without her consent.
He denied the charge, which was allegedly committed on September 29, 2013.
In passing judgment on Thursday last week, magistrate Benny Akende acquitted the accused person on grounds that, the prosecutions had failed to prove a case of defilement against the accused person as they did not provide the court with the necessary evidence to show that the girl was defiled by the accused person.
â€œThe prosecutions have thus not proved the case of defilement against the accused person, and I, therefore, find the accused person with no case and I, henceforth, accordingly acquit him and set him at liberty. You are free to go,â€ Mr Akende said.
Mr Akende noted that the prosecution had no other evidence apart from the testimony of the victimâ€™s grandmother who said she found the accused and the victim seated in a hut naked.
She testified she had gone to the market but when she returned, she found the accused naked and that the victim was also naked whilst seated on the accusedâ€™s thighs.
She further testified that when she asked the accused what he was doing with an underage girl who was naked, he answered by saying that he had the right to propose her as she was a woman and that she had given in to his love proposal.
Mr Akende said the medical report only indicated that the girl had a broken hymen but that there were no bruises or discharge on her private parts, stating that mere finding of accused and the girl naked and absence of hymen membrane do not qualify to be ingredients of defilement.
He said the court also noted that in her testimony, the victimâ€™s grandmother testified that she did not carry physical inspections on the genitals of the girl after finding her in a compromising state with the accused.
â€œI note that the medical report did not indicate that the girl had bruises but that she had had a broken hymen. I also note that the girlâ€™s grandmother did not carry out physical checks on the girl after suspecting that she was defiled, much to the surprise of the court,â€ Mr Akende said.
In defence, accused denied defiling the girl despite having been in that state with the child and added that the girlâ€™s family was trying to get back at him as they did not just want to pay him money after he did some work for them.
The court upheld the accusedâ€™s evidence saying it could not be dispelled as there is no other evidence brought before court apart from that of the girl and the accused having both been naked in a compromising state in the hut.
By MUBANGA NONDO