A LAWYER representing two rape convicts has asked the Kitwe High Court to quash their conviction as evidence of the victim is ‘extremely’ in conflict with other state witnesses and findings of the medical report.
This is in a case in which two Kitwe men, Geoffrey Lwenje and Mbulo Mumena are charged with and convicted of rape.
The duo was subsequently committed to the High Court for sentencing.
But when the matter came up for sentencing on Friday last week, defence lawyer Lenard Kasula, said he had some preliminary issues to raise over his clients’ conviction.
“We submit that the conviction by the lower court was not correctly reached and we will give reasons why we argue so,” he said.
Mr Kasula said the victim in her evidence before the subordinate court testified that around 23:00 hours on the fateful evening, four people broke into the room where she was waiting for her boyfriend and that of the four assailants, she identified Lwenje and Mumena.
“But the victim’s boyfriend testified that the first accused person was not among the four people and that it was in fact the victim’s boyfriend who called the accused person in question for help against the four assailants,” he said.
Mr Kasula further submitted that the victim told the court that both accused persons were caught red handed in the act of raping her and yet the rest of the witnesses testified that they merely found the accused persons sleeping in the same room with the victim.
He further submitted that the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses manifest themselves in the failure by the victim’s boyfriend to properly identify the two accused persons whom he claimed to know very well.
Mr Kasula added that findings of the medical report were inconsistent with the complaint of rape.
He added that the second accused person in his defence had an alibi as he had gone for a funeral at the time of the alleged offence but the prosecution did not bother to prove otherwise.
Mr Kasula said it was possible that the victim fabricated the occurrence of rape so as to defend herself to her boyfriend.
State Advocate Chali Hambayi said the state would reply to the defence’s submissions by September 29.
Ms Justice Makungu adjourned the matter to October 9, this year, for ruling.
Zambia Daily Mail