10 November 2012

Zambia: Supreme Court Reserves Judgment for Kasempa Farmer

THE Supreme Court has reserved judgment in an appeal case in which a 40-year-old Kasempa peasant farmer was sentenced to 47 years imprisonment with hard labour for raping his 75-year- old aunt.

Acting Deputy Chief Justice Florence Mumba sitting with other Supreme Court judges in Kabwe reserved the judgment after the lawyer representing the convict contended in his submission that the woman consented to the sexual act and it could not be viewed as rape.

The State, however, submitted that the judgment should be upheld because a crime was committed and also led to the admission of the woman to the hospital for two weeks.

But lawyers representing David Mapulanshi who is now aged 46 argued that the charge which was slapped on their client was misdirected because the woman consented and was paid K15,000 for the sexual act.

The State on the other hand maintained that the woman was forced to have sex against her will considering that the appellant was her young sister's son and that the charge of rape was in line with the law.

Facts before the court were that on December 9, 2006 the woman went to her field and was looking for mushrooms when she met the appellant who told her that he would show her where to find mushrooms but later held her by her hand and pushed her to the ground while squeezing her throat with an elbow.

She narrated that she attempted to shout for help but failed as he closed her mouth and that efforts to bite him also failed and after he finished what he was doing, he threatened her against telling anyone.

She said since the death of her husband in 1988, she had never slept with a man and that following the rape she felt pain such that she struggled to walk to her home and later narrated to her grandson a Mr Sobongo who later reported the matter to police.

She was admitted to Mukinge Hospital for two weeks where she was treated and insisted during cross examination that there was no arrangement with the accused.

The court on May 12, in 2008 found the appellant guilty and sentenced him to 47 years imprisonment with hard labour describing his behaviour as that of a wild animal.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence slapped on a Kabwe resident Henry Mapulanga who was facing a charge of aggravated robbery and attempted murder after he had appealed.

This is in a case in which Mapulanga shot and wounded a taxi driver before getting away with the Toyota Corolla registration number ABE 5436 which he had hired from Chitanda House in Kabwe but later attacked him.

But after the court found him guilty and sentenced him to death he appealed against the sentence arguing that the court misdirected itself adding that the proper charge should have been theft of a motor vehicle.

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