Two Ndola women who inserted a bottle into another woman’s private parts have been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
Ndola High Court Judge-in-Charge Emelia Sunkutu sentenced this two Thursday morning.
This is in case where five women were alleged to have assaulted Denise Mwanakumbwila and occasioning her actual bodily harm on December 1, 2018.
Fact before court were that on the material day, Precious Kapambwe, 25, Bridget Chisha 21, Margaret Mwansa, 25, Catherine Banda, 29 and Maureen Mutale, 29, while acting together abducted the named victim and caused her actual bodily harm, buy inserting a beer bottle into her private parts.
It was alleged that on the material day, in Ndola’s New Mushili township, the victim was having drinks at Start Point Bar at Masala main market with Harrison Mwanza, the husband to Kapambwe.
Whilst at the drinking place, Kapambwe showed up in the company of her other four friends.
It was also alleged that upon seeing his wife, Kapambwe’s husband run away, leaving the victim alone.
Kapambwe then picked the victim by force and took her to her home where she was allegedly forced to undress.
And in the video which went viral on social media, the women were seen holding the victim’s hands and legs while another was seen placing a bottle of castle beer in the victim’s private parts.
The victim refused to testify but some of her family members gave testimony and when the women were found with a case to answer, they opted to remain silent.
When the case came up for judgement recently, three of the women were acquitted on both counts of abduction and indecent assault.
Ndola Chief Resident Magistrate John Mbuzi had said inserting a bottle into a private part of a woman was grossly indecent and was accompanied by assault.
He said the question of collaboration did not arise because the complainant was out of court and did not give evidence.
He said the video clips presented before court did not show faces of the accused and that it was hard to identify the suspects from the voices.
He said had it not been for the evidence of video clips and pictures in a phone that belonged to Margaret, the matter would not have gone anywhere in the absence of the victim.
Magistrate Mbzui found two women guilty of assault.
He said he was satisfied with the evidence presented to court that Margaret Mwansa and Precious Kapambwe participated in the offence.
“I am satisfied that the two accused jointly and unlawfully committed the offence by inserting a bottle into the woman’s private parts and without her consent,” he said.
“I find them guilty in count two and convict them accordingly.”
Magistrate Mbuzi then committed them to the High Court for sentencing.
When the matter came up for sentencing in the High Court yesterday, Judge Sunkutu said the lower court was on firm grounds to convict the two.
“The Magistrate Court was on firm grounds to commit the accused. I am in agreement of the decision made by the trial court. The convicts were properly convicted by the evidence before court,” she said.
In mitigation, through Legal Aid counsel Kenneth Tembo, the convicts said they were remorseful.
But Judge Sunkutu said the wickedness among young people was mind boggling.
“I have heard what is pleaded in mitigation. I take special note that both are youthful. I cannot over emphasis the offence committed. You committed unprecedented act of cruelty at your age. It was an act of sheer wickedness, difficult to comprehend. There are ways of solving issues in society. You decided to take the law in your hands. How you come up with this idea of inserting a bottle is beyond imagination,” she said.
She said the act offended and insulted the women.
“By your act, you offended and insulted every woman of right mind. You behaved in a most appalling manner. I do not believe it is prudent to hand a minimum sentence (15), because of the aggravation of the matter. The minimum sentence, (15) will be injustice. I therefore, sentence you to 18 years simple imprisonment effective 14th January, 2019,” said Judge Sunkutu.
“This case makes sad reading that the victim refused to testify. This was an error on her part. We expect all people that are required to give testimony before court to do just that.”
When the sentence was handed down, the two women broke down and cried.