A Zambia Air Force (ZAF) officer who allegedly slapped a Lusaka woman to the extent of dislocating her neck and rupturing her eardrum, has pleaded not guilty to one count of assault in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.

In this matter, Mwendalubi Hamane, ZAF CED aged 38, is charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Particulars of the offence are that on July 30, 2018 in Lusaka, Hamane did assault Naomi Tembo thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm.

When the matter came up for plea before magistrate David Simusamba, Wednesday, Hamane denied the charge.

The court, however, could not proceed to call a witness as the accused’s lawyer said they needed more time to prepare.

The matter has been adjourned to September 5, 2018 for commencement of trial.

The victim who still has a neck collar to support her neck, was accompanied by her husband at court.

She had narrated in an interview with Muvi TV a few weeks ago, that on the material day, she was in the company of her husband when she gestured to the officer who was in his car, to reduce his car beam light.

Tembo narrated that the accused misunderstood her gestures and when he got out of his car, he slapped her so hard that she lost her consciousness.

“I pointed at the driver and tried to communicate with him that the lights were too bright. The thing (car) was on the middle of the road and where we were, there was a drainage. What I did was, I tried signaling [to] him that he should reduce the light. He drove past us and then we just heard him stop behind us and started reversing towards us. When I tried to explain to him that I was pointing [at him] to communicate that the lights were too bright. He didn’t even give me a chance to explain what happened, he slapped me so hard that I lost consciousness right away. Even the time I fell in the ditch, I didn’t feel anything because the slap was so hard,” she said.

Tembo said she only regained her consciousness at a clinic in Twin Palm after she felt blood coming out of her ear.

She disclosed that because of the slap, she had a dislocated neck and ruptured eardrum.

“The nearest clinic which was there was at ZAF Twin palm. Even when we were going to Twin palm I wasn’t even aware as I was still unconscious. I only woke up in a treatment room at ZAF clinic when I felt blood coming out from my ear and my left side I couldn’t feel anything because it was partially paralyzed. Because of what happened, my neck has a dislocation on my left side and then my eardrum ruptured of which I have lost hearing from my left. The doctor has even put this on writing,” Tembo said.

She said she only wanted justice because she had lost her hearing on the left side because of the officer’s carelessness.

“All I want is justice because what he did to me, I have become lame on my left side due to his carelessness,” she said.

And the victim’s husband had expressed that it was inhuman to slap a woman.

He said the officer was supposed to protect civilians and not beat a defenseless woman.

“From where I have come from, its inhuman to slap a women. He is [a law enforcer] meant to protect us, civilians but he is using his training and his energy to beat a defenseless woman. I have never seen such a thing in my life to be honest,” he said.

The accused is also alleged to have made job offers to the couple to have the matter dropped.

And a 35-year-old man of Lusaka’s Kanyama Compound has denied stealing K206,812 cash belonging to his former employer, Swiss Bank.

John Mulenga, currently unemployed, is charged with one count of theft by servant.

Particulars of the offence are that Mulenga, between April 27, 2017 and April 30, 2017 in Lusaka, being employed by Swiss Bank as Marketing and Executive officer did steal K206,812.50 cash, property of the said employer.

And when the matter came up for plea before magistrate Simusamba’s court, the accused denied the charge.

The matter has been adjourned to September 12, 2018 for commencement of trial.