A Barman has testified in a matter where a 32-year-old Zambia Air Force (ZAF) soldier is accused of abusing and torturing her 11-year-old niece, saying he found the victim soaked and shivering in one of the toilets at the bar.

In this matter, Mildred Luwaile, of ZAF Twin Palm, is charged with assault on a child, contrary to Section 248 (a) of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence alleged that on March 25, 2019 in Lusaka, Luwaile assaulted a child under the age of 16, thereby occasionally her actual bodily harm.

And when the matter came up for trial before Magistrate Nthandose Chabala, Monday, Field Masheto, a 37-year-old barman testified that on April 12, this year, around 05:00 hours, he started cleaning the women’s toilet at ZAF mess when he noticed that one door was locked.

Masheto said he called his colleague to ascertain why the door was locked despite several knocks and attempts to gain entry into the ablution block.

He added that when he heard the victim’s voice, he pleaded with her to open the door.

Masheto further told the Court that when the girl opened the door to the toilet after repeatedly knocking, he noticed that her clothes were wet and she was shivering.

The witness told the Court that he later on gave the victim a blanket to cover herself as she was shivering.

“I knocked to check if there was someone, but I got no response. I asked my colleague but he said it would have been locked by the wind from the rains during the night. While in the toilet, I heard a voice saying ‘it’s me, I am here.’ I pleaded with her to open the door and when she did, she came out in socked clothes, shivering and limping. I got a blanket and covered her,” he narrated.

Masheto told the Court that when he asked for the girl’s particulars and what she was doing in the toilet, she informed him that her auntie beat her up and that she was heading to Mpongwe, but got lost in the night.

He said he reported the matter to a Major Hamaumba and a day later, the girl came with plain clothed police from Woodlands Police Station.

Masheto said at that point, the girl narrated her ordeal while someone was filming.

In cross-examination, the witness said he never saw physical injuries on the victim.

The matter has been adjourned to July 22, 2019, for continued trial.