NDOLA High Court judge Jane Kabuka has sentenced a 20-year-old businessman of Mikomfwa township in Luanshya to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 14-year-old girl of the same township.
Passing judgment, Judge Kabuka said Beston Mwaba did not deny the charge in the magistrates court but argued that he did not know that the victim was below 16 years of age, though he confirmed having had sex with her.
Mwaba,of house number 136 in Mikomfwa, admitted a charge of defilement, which he committed on September 28, 2012.
Ms Kabuka noted that Mwaba said he thought the victim was above 16 years but he did not show proof to substantiate his claims and that the records show that the victim appeared 10 years old and that she looked sad, distant and scared.
On the material day around 19.00 hours, the victim was at home with her siblings whilst her mother was at work when the accused approached her and asked her to accompany him to buy biscuits.
The victim told the court that she knew Mwaba as ‘uncle’and that as she followed him to buy the biscuits, the accused told her that he needed to collect money from his home.
The victim further narrated to the court that as they reached the accused’s home, he took her inside his two- room house and then locked the door.
She told the court that as they were in the bedroom, which had no mattress but just a sack and blankets, Mwaba made her sleep on the sack and defiled her.
The victim told the court that Mwaba had sex with her five times and released her about 17.30 hours the following day and she was not even given the biscuits she was promised.
The victim’s mother testified before court that when she knocked off from work around 22.00 hours on the night of the incident, she did not find her daughter and assumed she was at her sister’s place.
The victim’s mother told the court that when she inquired as to where her daughter had been, she told her that she had slept at a Mwaba’s house and he had sex with her.
She reported the matter to Luanshya police station.
In defence, Mwaba told the court that the sexual act between him and the victim was consensual but the victim denied this fact.
Ms Kabuka noted that the convict, during his defence, told the court that he asked the victim when he met her at a bar how old she was for her to be found drinking beer and challenged her when she said she was 17.
“It is in this court’s interpretation that from the onset, the accused was uncomfortable and in doubt about the victim’s age,” Ms Kabuka said.
Zambia Daily Mail