The Chinsali High Court in Muchinga Province has acquitted a 58-year-old man of Chama district in Muchinga Province who was facing one count of murder.
Sango Nundwe is alleged to have killed another man after mistaking him for a leopard.
Nundwe of Lubumbu village in Chama has been set free by Judge Kelvin Limbani sitting at Chinsali High Court of one count of murder contrary to section 200 Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence were that on the 3rd of January, 2020, Sango Nundwe, 58, murdered Ackim Zimba of Chama district around 23:00 hours with a spear after he mistook him for a leopard that had been attacking his pigs.
While passing judgement, Judge Limbani ruled that Nundwe who had pleaded guilty to the charge had proved to the court that he had no motive to kill the victim but mistook him for a dangerous wild animal.
Judge Limbani said the accused has been acquitted on grounds of mistaken belief where the posture of the object was mistaken to be a leopard that could not be clearly identified.
He further charged that the onus of the prosecution was to prove the offence beyond a reasonable doubt with an intent to commit the act.
“Prosecution has to prove that the accused killed the deceased with malice and intent,” he added.
Judge Limbani also stated that Nundwe did admit to committing the offence by declaring mistaken belief, adding that he went a step further to report himself to the police.
He said Nundwe’s actions prove beyond reasonable doubt of no intention to kill Ackim Zimba as he was in fear of a wild animal attacking his animals.
He added that two witnesses who testified before the court gave statements that do not point to any suspicious acts of Nundwe harming the deceased as they lived in peace in the same village.
“I hereby, acquit you of the charge of murder as I find no evidence to prove that the act was performed with an intent to kill attached to it”, he ruled.