The Rufunsa magistrate circuit court has discontinued the case of 93-year-old man, White Zulu, who was facing a charge of defiling a three-year-old child.
Magistrate Allan Kangwa made the ruling after the son to White Zulu, Jacob Zulu 31 of Nyombolo village in Mpanshya chiefdom presented a death certificate before the court indicating that his father died on 17th June, 2022.
White Zulu, 93, was appearing before court for allegedly defiling his three -year-old grand daughter.
Magistrate Kangwa ruled that the case be discontinued under section 88a of the criminal procedure code, chapter 88 of the laws of Zambia.
The magistrate has sincedischarged the deceased accused.
In the court sitting on May 23rd, 2022, Magistrate Kangwa had granted bail to Mr. Zulu after his legal aid lawyer, Douglas Njolomba appealed to the court for time to study the case of his 93-year-old client.
This was after the second witness, Margret Phiri, the mother to the child in question and the arresting officer, Constable Raphael Bwingi, gave their evidence.
Ms. Phiri had told the court that on 10th April, 2022 around 18:00 hrs, she left her two daughters aged two and three in the custody of their grandfather, White Zulu, and went to draw water but when she came back, she found her three-year-old daughter crying while sleeping under a blanket with her grandfather.
When she asked the father in-law White Zulu why the child was crying, Mr. Zulu told her that maybe some stick had pricked her private part.
In cross examination, Legal Aid Lawyer, Douglas Njolomba asked the complaint Margret Phiri from her own analysis if White Zulu could have energy to have carnal knowledge with any woman and she said no.
And the third witness, Constable Raphael Bwingi in his evidence, told the court that on 11th April, 2022, he received a report from female Margret Phiri aged 24 that her three-year-old daughter had been defiled by male White Zulu aged 93.
Constable Bwingi issued two medical reports which the complaint took to Mpanshya St. Luke’s Mission hospital.
The police officer said when Ms. Phiri returned from the hospital, the medical reports, which were signed by a Medical Doctor, showed that there was penetration.
Upon receiving the medical reports, Constable Bwingi went and apprehended White Zulu and handed him to Luangwa Police Station for further investigations.
When probed further, Phiri, the mother to the child, said on the 10th April, 2022, she left her daughters aged two and three years respectively in custody of their grandfather White Zulu at around 18:00 hours when she went to draw water from a borehole.
She later said when she came back from drawing water, her three-year-old daughter ran to her crying.
It was at this point when the legal aid lawyer, Mr. Njolomba asked for adjournment saying Phiri and Bwingi gave conflicting statements.
Magistrate Kangwa adjourned the case to 11th July, 2022 for continued trial and later granted White Zulu bail in his own recognition as he was not a threat.
The 93-year-old White Zulu died from his home in Njombolo village on 17th June, 2022 after an illness.
Meanwhile Rufunsa District Commissioner, Richard Mabena and a cross section of Rufunsa residents have commended government for introducing a circuit court in the district.
Mr. Mabena and the members of the community have however appealed to the Ministry of Justice to consider establishing a permanent magistrate court in Rufunsa is it is a fullY-fledged district which needs all the services.
He said much as he appreciates the introduction of a circuit court in the district, it is important that a permanent court be established so that the district stops to wait for a magistrate to come from Luangwa district.
And NGOCC Rufunsa District Focal Point Person, Matildah Kasumbalesa said there is need for a permanent magistrate court in the area as the district has a lot of issues on early marriages and defilement among others which are settled at house level.
Mrs. Kasumbalesa said having a permanent magistrate court will enable such cases to be resolved quickly as most people were fearing to bear the costs of traveling to Luangwa where the court is.
And District Patriotic Front (PF) Chairman, Emmanuel Tembo has also appealed to the government to consider upgrading the police post in Rufunsa to a district status.
Mr. Tembo said it is costly for suspects to be taken to Luangwa district where Rufunsa police posts reports.
He added that Rufunsa district has all the required infrastructure to have a fully-fledged police station.