The Lusaka High Court has squashed Zambia Association of Musicians president Njoya Tembo’s wife Brenda’s conviction saying it had no legal basis.
Lusaka Magistrate Greenwell Malumani had sentenced Brenda to five years simple imprisonment for assaulting her 14-year-old niece.
Facts before the court were that Brenda got angry after her niece burnt her uniform with her iron, making it dirty.
She then beat her niece four times with a cooking stick until it was broken then slapped her on her face as Njoya moved in to separate the two.
Brenda then plugged the iron in a socket, which her niece claimed was not working and told her to touch it whilst it was hot but the girl resisted.
According to a medical doctor, the juvenile sustained bruises on her hands as a result of the blunt force trauma and said injuries could take about four weeks to heal.
But having been dissatisfied with the conviction, Brenda had appealed her sentence in the Lusaka High Court.
But when the matter came up in the High Court, Thursday, judge Mwila Chitabo quashed the sentence on grounds that there was no legal basis on which such conviction was passed.
Passing his judgement, judge Chitabo agreed with the appellant that there was no evidence that the injuries were caused by the cooking stick.
“There was reasonable doubt raised and there was no legal basis for conviction. I agree with the appellant that there was no evidence that the injuries were caused by the cooking stick. I, therefore, uphold and quash conviction and set you free, you can go,” ordered judge Chitabo.
In his judgement, judge Chitabo found that there was dereliction of duty on the part of the prosecution when they failed to present the cooking stick as the instrument used to injure the child.
He said the prosecution should have called Njoya Tembo to give his evidence because he had intervened.
“The state should have called the appellant’s husband because he intervened. The dereliction of duty on the part of the state, and in my view, the evidence of the appellant’s husband would have collaborated on how the incident happened,” said judge Chitabo.
Judge Chitabo discredited all the five witnesses that testified as their evidence was not collaborated.
He added that the prosecution failed to prove its case.