A LUSAKA Magistrate Humprey Chitalu, who was asked by a complainant to have his case re-allocated from his court after being suspected of being biased, has recused himself from handling the matter and re-allocated it to another magistrate.
One of the nine accused people arrested in Kanyama township in Lusaka following a riot over an alleged defilement case involving a local traditional healer and a 16-year-old girl, last week asked Mr Chitalu to re-locate the matter to another magistrate because of what he feared would be selective justice.
Mr Chitalu said he recused himself from handling the matter because he wanted to show that he had no interest in the matter.
The magistrate however warned the lawyer representing the complainant against tarnishing his name.
According to application filed in the Lusaka Magistrates court, Maxwell Chifuti through his lawyer John Chibalabala quoted an article published by the Post newspaper dated January 7, 2015 in which Magistrate Chitalu was quoted as saying inter-alia “why hasn’t this Chifuti been apprehended”?
Mr Chitalu was also quoted saying: “These riots are very serious and you as police if you continue conducting yourselves in this manner, society will be in danger. There should be fair application of the law, hence such people need to be arrested as principal offenders.’’
Chifuti claimed that the utterances amounted to a magistrate giving legal advice on the case which was an automatic disqualification of him to try that particular case.
He requested to have the case transferred to another court in the interests of justice.
The accused were arrested in Kanyama township following a riot over an alleged defilement case involving a local traditional healer and a 16-year-old girl.
This was after word went round that the traditional doctor allegedly had carnal knowledge of the girl at his clinic located behind a block of shops and bars which the accused has rented out to different people.
A mob looted the shops belonging to the traditional healer’s tenants and also damaged the building in which he prescribed his charms.