THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court yesterday discharged musician Clifford Dimba, alias General Kanene, in a case where he was accused of assaulting a woman on account that the complainant could not be located.
In this matter, Kanene was charged with assault contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that Kanene, on October 27, 2015, assaulted Modrine Chisenga and occassioned her actual bodily harm.
But Kanene pleaded not guilty.
The matter had been adjourned three times because Chisenga never appeared in court to testify.
On November 2, 2015, Kanene’s lawyer, then Nicholas Chanda, had applied for bail.
But the state, through Juvenalis Kamutondole, objected to the application, saying there was a feeling that the witness was being interfered with.
Chanda told the court that Chisenga would never appear in court because she was paid.
Magistrate Mulife then gave the state a week to look for the complainant so that she appears in court to explain the allegation.
But when the case came up for bail ruling on November 10, 2015, the state again asked for more time to look for Chisenga.
This prompted magistrate Mulife to issue a bench warrant against Chisenga after she failed to appear on November 24.
And when the matter came up for return of bench warrant and possible commencement of trial on December 10, state prosecutor Zacks Yuma applied for an adjournment to allow the prosecution more time to find Chisenga.
The case was further adjourned to January 14.
But when it came up, the state said they were still looking for Chisenga.
Magistrate Mulife then told the state to work hard to find Chisenga and bring her to court on January 21.
However, when the case was called yesterday, arresting officer Collins Mwabi from Lusaka Central Police submitted that he had not found Chisenga.
“I have been looking for her since the bench warrant was issued but it appears she has relocated. We have tried our best to locate her,” he said.
And the state, through prosecutor Samuel Zulu, applied to have the warrant of arrest against the witness revoked and the case withdrawn.
Zulu applied that the state would institute the proceedings if Chisenga is found.
Magistrate Mulife granted the application but told Kanene that the discharge was not an acquittal.
“I grant the application in view of the continued absence of the complainant whose whereabouts are not known. The accused is discharged from the proceedings pursuant to section 88 (a) of the CPC. This is not an acquittal, the accused can still be rearrested for the same charge but for now, I direct that he be set at liberty,” said magistrate Mulife.
On Monday, President Edgar Lungu revoked the appointment of Kanene as anti- Gender-Based Violence ambassador.