The Itezhi Tezhi Magistrates Court has committed a 26-year-old fisherman to high court for sentencing for raping a 41 year-old fish monger.
Itezhi Tezhi Magistrates Mugala Chalwe convicted Gracious Muzambwe following collaborative evidence brought before court by the prosecution.
Particulars of the offence allege that on 6 May 2018, Gracious Muzambwe of Chibolya compound in Itezhi Tezhi district in Central Province had carnal knowledge of Monica Sosopi without her consent.
During trial, Monica Sosopi, a fish trader, testified how Muzambwe allegedly violently dragged her in the bush while she was on her way to Kafue River to buy fish and allegedly raped her.
Sosopi told Magistrate Mugala Chalwe that on May 2018, around 04:00 hours while on her way to Kafue River, a man approached her and told her that she should follow him to his home.
She told the court that she resisted going to Muzambwe’s home as she did not know him but Muzambwe violently dragged her into a bush where he ripped off her dress including the under wear.
She said that Muzambwe then forced himself on her as she screamed and lay helplessly on the rough ground.
“He violently tore my jean skirt, breast holder and underwear and forced himself on me despite having repeatedly screamed and telling him that I was a patient” Sosopi narrated.
She said that during the course of the act, she continued screaming for help and later Maurice and Esther Kambeu came to her rescue and she reported the matter to Itezhi Tezhi police station where she was given a medical certificate form before being referred to Itezhi Tezhi District Hospital for examination.
And a second witness Esther Kambeu,25 told the court how she was awakened around 04:00 hours by a man called Maurice with whom she went with to the scene where she found Muzambwe on top of Sosopi red-handed and grabbed him by his red T-shirt that he was wearing.
Kambeu told the court that the two recognized Muzambwe as it was bright because of the moonlight.
She said that when she held Muzambwe by his T-shirt he took off the T-shirt and escaped leaving her with the red T-shirt in her hand.
A medical report and torn clothes and underwear were submitted in the court.
And in his defense, Muzambwe told the court that on the material day he met a woman he later came to know as Monica Sosopi and proposed love to her and she accepted.
After she accepted he went with her at drinking place around 02:00 hours. He said that they agreed to go to his home and have sex but after being with her for 30 minutes, she sneaked out and when he saw that it had taken too long for her to come back, he decided to make a follow up.
He told the court that he later saw the Sosopi leaving the drinking place and he began chasing her until he caught up with her.
Muzambwe said that he asked the woman why she decided to leave after they agreed to go to his home and have sex and that she slapped him on his chin and said that she could not do that because she was attending her menstrual period.
Muzambwe told the court that he then demanded that Sosopi give him back his money since the sexual services he procured could not be provided but she resisted.
He said that he then decided to search her body starting with a meticulous search on her breast holder and when he could not find the money he decided to undress her and search her underwear where he finally found the money.
He said that during the search, she was screaming and this led to Maurice and Esther Kambeu to come forward and rescue her.
Muzambwe explained to Maurice and Kambeu how they had agreed to have sex with her but that Maurice decided to get his T-shirt and after three days he was apprehended by the police for allegedly asaulting someone.
In delivering judgment, magistrates Mugala Chalwe ruled said that it was not in dispute that the offender had carnal knowledge of the victim as shown by a medical report.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the accused committed the offence and I accordingly convict him as charged. I hereby commit him to the high court for sentencing and remand him in custody” Mrs. Mugala said.