THE acquittal of Brenda, wife of Zambia Association of Musicians president, Njoya Tembo, has been challenged by the State.
The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court had sentenced Brenda to five years imprisonment for assaulting her 14-year-old niece but the High Court set her free after she appealed.
But the State has appealed the High Court’s decision on grounds that Mr. Justice Chitabo erred in law when he contradicted himself by stating that the child’s evidence was uncorroborated even after stating that another witness and the medical report corroborated her testimony.
Other grounds are that Mr. Justice Chitabo erred in law when he faulted the medical report on grounds that it did not state the object used to inflict the injuries.
The State has further argued that Mr. Justice Chitabo erred in law by finding that failure to call Brenda’s husband as a witness amounted to dereliction of duty.
The State has also claimed that the judge misdirected himself at law by finding that failure to produce the object used in the assault was fatal to the prosecution’s case. It is also the State’s argument that the appellate judge erred in law when he misapplied principles of sentencing in relation to the gravity and nature of the offence committed.
On May 3, 2018, Judge Chitabo quashed the sentence passed by Magistrate Greenwell Malumani on grounds that there was no legal basis on which such conviction was passed.
Judge Chitabo found that there was dereliction of duty on the part of the prosecution when they failed to present the cooking stick as the instrument used to injure the child.
He said that the prosecution should have called Mr. Tembo to give his evidence, which should have corroborated with the other State witnesses on how the incident happened.