By Charles Musonda

THE acquittal of a 37-year-old man, who was accused of defiling a 13-year-old HIV positive orphan, has shocked the victim’s family.

Yesterday, Lusaka Magistrate Humphrey Chitalu acquitted Wilson Kanyesha who was facing one count of defiling an orphan that was born HIV positive. It was alleged that on unknown dates but between December 2013 and June 2014, Kanyesha of house number 44, Chilenje Township, Lusaka, defiled his tenant’s granddaughter in his house.

Magistrate Chitalu said although medical evidence proved that the girl was defiled, there was no connection between the offence and Kanyesha because of inconsistencies in evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses regarding the girl’s whereabouts during the period the defilement happened.

“I am satisfied that there is no evidence implicating the accused. The case was poorly prosecuted and I hope in future the State will do their best because these are very sensitive cases. I, therefore, acquit the accused forthwith,” Mr Chitalu said.

He said Kanyesha used the alibi evidence because the girl was away in Solwezi while the accused person was in Lusaka during the period in question.

During trial, the girl said Kanyesha defiled her on the first two occasions when he invited her to sweep his house.

“When I entered his house, he asked me to remove my skirt but I refused. He then threatened to beat me and pushed me on his bed…after defiling me, he threatened to kill me if I told anyone,” the girl said.

She said on the third occasion, Kanyesha again invited her to sweep his house but she refused and only yielded when her grandmother convinced her to do so after which he defiled her.

In his defence, Kanyesha said it was not possible for him to defile the girl because between December 2013 and the second week of January 2014 she was in Solwezi. He said on February 19, 2014, he started cohabiting with his wife before they wedded on May 17, 2014 and therefore, there was no opportunity for him to defile her.

Kanyesha said when the girl returned from Solwezi, she proceeded to live with her aunt in Kamwala Township and that he even bought her a dress she used as a knife girl at his wedding.

In an interview after the judgment, administrator of the girl’s family Mike Mposhya said the verdict did not come as a surprise because of so many adjournments when the matter reached judgment stage.

“We want to respect the law and the court’s decision but the judgment is quite disappointing because when we looked at all the available information we had to report to the police. Whether the prosecution mishandled the whole case that is another issue because as a family, we did our part to ensure that this matter was not handled outside court,” Mr Mposhya said.

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