The complainant in a case where five Ndola women inserted a bottle of beer in her vagina as punishment for allegedly going out with a married man has gone missing.
It is alleged that on December 1, 2018, Precious Kapambwe 25 , Bridget Chisha 21, Magrette Mwansa 25,Catherine Banda 29 and Maureen Mutale 29, jointly and while acting together did abduct the victim in order to put her in danger of being subjected to grievously bodily harm.
In count two, the five are charged with indecent assault.
When the matter came up for trial before Ndola Chief Resident Magistrate John Mbuzi, the state informed the court that the complainant had gone missing and demanded that the arresting officer explains her whereabouts.
When arresting officer Francis Banda took the stand, he told the court that he had received a call from the victim, using a strange number, who informed him that she was in Lusaka and planned on never returning to Ndola.
But her father, Sheikh Mwanakambwila, told the court that he was unaware of his daughter’s whereabouts.
“I did receive the summons for the witnesses and only managed to find one witness, the father to the complainant who indicated that the Complainant left home and he is not aware of her whereabouts. However, I managed to inform the father to be before court, as at now, I am not in the position to know where the Complainant is. Some few days, I received a strange number who called on my line and I spoke to the Complainant who indicated to me that she is in Lusaka and that she was not willing to appear or attend court, [for] reasons best known by her self. She further indicated that she is in Lusaka and will never come back in Ndola,” the arresting officer, Francis Banda, told the court.
But the state insisted that the witness was interfered with.
“We are convinced that the witness was interfered with. There is no any other way, apart from interference,” the state said.
At this point, the state applied that the father, who was before court, explains the whereabouts of his daughter.
However, the defence team tried to object to the application but Magistrate Mbuzi ruled that the father, despite being a main witness, should explain only about where the victim is.
“I don’t know where my daughter is. I don’t know where she is and am still looking for her. She left home on December 7. That is the last time I saw her,” Sheikh Mwanakambwila, who is a tomato trader at Main Masala, said.
The state insisted that the witness was interfered with and applied that the bail given to the three accused be revoked.
In his ruling, Magistrate Mbuzi said if the witness would not be present at the next hearing, he would compel the state to proceed without her.
“I will grant two conditions, one to issue summons to the witness, or two will compel the state to proceed without the witness. I will grant one adjournment. This matter will come up on January 7, 2019 for trial. The three will have their bail extended while the two will remain in custody,” said Magistrate Mbuzi.
It is alleged that on the material day, in Ndola’s New Mushili township, the victim was having drinks at Star 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 is alleged that upon seeing his wife, Kapambwe’s husband ran away, leaving the victim alone.
Kapambwe then picked the victim by force and took her to home where she was allegedly forced to undress.
In the video that went viral on social media, the women are seen holding the victim’s hands and legs while others are placing a bottle of castle beer in her vagina.
The women are also heard warning her to stay away from married men as another captures the ordeal on her phone.