A nurse at a private hospital in Lusaka who was accused of defiling a girl under the age of 16 may be discharged because the State has failed to bring witnesses before the court, Lusaka Magistrate Faides Hamaundu has said.
“This is the second time that trial in this case has failed to take off because the State has failed to bring witnesses; if at the next hearing you will not bring your witnesses I will not hesitate but discharge the accused,’’ she said.
Clifford Mundongo, 32, of Libala South, was accused of having unlawful carnal knowledge with the girl under the age of 16 without her consent.
Ms Hamaundu warned the State to make sure they located the witnesses and brought them before her court. And the defence lawyer told the court that it was disappointing that the State were failing to bring witnesses to court, hence delaying the court process. He said if in the next hearing no witnesses were present he would apply for a discharge.
The State prosecutor assured the court that he would try all means to locate the witnesses and bring them to court.
Mundongo is facing one count of defilement of a child contrary to Section 138 of the laws of Zambia. It is alleged that on dates unknown but between September 1 and December 6 last year he had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16. Ms Hamaundu adjourned the matter to April 5 for a commencement of trial.
Meanwhile, the owner of the mini bus which ran over a female traffic police officer at a road block has been fined K3,350 by the Lusaka Magistrates Court after he admitted five counts, including permitting the use of unlicensed motor vehicle and unlicensed driver.
Madaliso Musakanya, 27, an accountant of PHI, was fined by Magistrate Hamaundu after he pleaded guilty.
A Mtendere bus driver Stephen Phiri, 23, has been charged with attempted murder for running over the police woman who tried to stop him on the Great East Road in Lusaka.
In sentencing Musakanya, Ms Hamaundu said she could have used her discretion to acquit Musakanya who did not waste the court’s time by readily admitting the offence but cases of contravening traffic rules were on the increase and many people had lost their lives due to careless and ignorant drivers.
She said the fine would act as an example to deter other would-be offenders from contravening traffic rules. It was found that Musakanya on February 27 permitted Botha Kaputula to drive a motor vehicle namely Toyota Hiace minibus registration no. ALJ 7248 on a public road namely Great East Road without third party insurance. He is in the same count charged with permitting unlicensed driver to drive a motor vehicle without a valid driving licence.
Musakanya is in counts two and three facing a charge of permitting use of motor vehicle without a certificate of fitness and failing to change ownership contrary to section 12 and 133 of the laws of Zambia.
Meanwhile, Phiri is expected to appear in court soon for his explanation of the charge before he is committed to the High Court for trial on attempted murder charges.