In a recent development in the case of the alleged abduction of Pamela Chisumpa and 12 others, the Lusaka High Court has allowed the two accused men, James Bwalya and Matthews Sikaonga, to undergo a medical check-up to determine their mental ability to stand trial. The decision was made following an application by the accused’s lawyer, Osborne Ngoma.
The two accused are facing a total of 54 counts of aggravated robbery, abduction, assault, and rape, among other charges. It is alleged in counts one to four that between June 18 and October 3, 2022, Bwalya and Sikaonga in Lusaka, while acting together with others unknown, abducted and detained Pamela Chisumpa and 12 other individuals.
During the court proceedings, Ngoma informed the court that one of the accused, Bwalya, was experiencing excruciating pain after he fell during an “activity” and sustained some back injuries. As a result, he requested the court to allow his client to undergo a medical check-up to assess his condition.
The judge presiding over the case, Justice Mary Mulanda, granted the application and ordered that the two accused undergo a medical examination to determine their mental ability to stand trial. She also ordered that Bwalya receive appropriate medical attention for his injuries.
The medical check-up will be conducted by a qualified medical practitioner, who will assess the mental state of the accused and determine whether they are fit to stand trial. If the medical practitioner finds that the accused are not mentally fit to stand trial, the case may be adjourned until they are deemed fit to do so.
The case has sparked outrage across the country, with many people calling for justice for the victims of the alleged abduction, assault, and rape. The case has also highlighted the issue of gender-based violence in Zambia and the need for urgent action to be taken to address this growing problem.
In response to the case, the government has pledged to take stronger action to address gender-based violence in the country. The Minister of Gender, Elizabeth Phiri, has called on all stakeholders to work together to tackle this issue and ensure that justice is served for the victims.
The case has also raised questions about the adequacy of the country’s legal system in addressing cases of gender-based violence. Many people have called for the legal system to be reformed to ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence are held accountable for their actions.
The trial of Bwalya and Sikaonga is set to continue once the medical examination has been completed. The case has attracted widespread media attention, and many people across the country will be watching closely to see how it progresses.
The decision by the Lusaka High Court to allow the two accused men to undergo a medical check-up to determine their mental ability to stand trial has been welcomed by many people across the country. The case has highlighted the issue of gender-based violence in Zambia and the need for urgent action to be taken to address this growing problem. The trial of Bwalya and Sikaonga is set to continue once the medical examination has been completed, and many people will be watching closely to see how it progresses.