A garden boy of Lusaka has been committed to the Lusaka High Court for sentencing for indecent assault after the Magistrates Court found him guilty of the offence.
Resident Magistrate Humphrey Chitalu said that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against Barnabas Mwitwa,41, of Chipata Township but he had no jurisdiction to pass sentence as the offence carries a minimum jail sentence of 15 years which can only be meted out by a higher court..
Particulars of the matter are that on June 16, Mwitwa indecently assaulted a 17-yeard old girl, of Roma Township, a niece of his boss but pleaded not guilty to the charge.
But in his defence, Mwitwa told the court that he did not do anything to the girl and was surprised the following day when he was told by her aunt that he had indecently assaulted her niece.
The girl however said on the material day Mwitwa pounced and got on top of her while squeezing her left breast and the stomach. This was after Mwitwa was told to remove tiles from the sitting room so that she could apply floor polish.
She told the court that when she came from the bathroom she found Mwitwa had switched on the Television set and when she advised him to switch it off an argument ensued. She later switched off the TV and put the remote control on the stand.
It was at that point when Mwitwa pounced on her. She bit the garden boy on the hand and that was how he stopped what he was doing.
“I wanted to tell my aunt but she was at the funeral and when I asked him why he did that he said it was because I refused to have sex with him. When my uncle came Mwitwa threatened to kill me with a knife if I told my uncle what happened. He left before 17.00 hours which was his normal knocking off time.. The following day she told her aunt and showed her nail marks on the left breast and the stomach,” said Phiri. Delivering judgment Resident Magistrate Chitalu said the prosecution had proves its case beyond any doubt and found Mwitwa guilty of the offence. He referred the matter to the High Court for sentencing because it was the only institution with jurisdiction over the case.