THE Livingstone High Court has jailed a Zimbabwean man seven years for attempting to rape a woman on the Mosi-oa-tunya Road in December 2016. Eugene Marc Bizita Nkhomo of house number MR 2 Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe, was charged with attempted rape contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that on December 15, 2016, in Livingstone, Nkhomo, 23 attempted to rape a woman aged 29. It is stated that on the material day, the woman was going to the Victoria Falls from Livingstone City Centre and wanted to answer the call of nature along the way and she asked the driver of the taxi to pull over.
The woman is said to have gone into the nearby bush and the taxi went to a nearby filling station. As she was coming out of the bush, she was accosted by Nkhomo who pulled her skirt and tore her underwear. However, she overpowered Nkhomo, who later run away, going in the direction of the falls.
A team of police officers who were driving in the same direction apprehended Nkhomo and he was later charged and arrested for the offence at Livingstone Central Police Station. Legal Aid Board lawyer Mwenya Liswaniso said despite her client, who is hearing impaired, having a sign language interpreter, there was communication breakdown.
She said this was due to the fact that he was not represented by a lawyer in the magistrates’ court. But the prosecution argued that there was nowhere in the court records where it showed that the interpreter was incompetent. The state noted that the convict was given a chance to speak in court and to defend himself. Passing sentence, judge Mwila Chitabo said his court would not fault the conviction by the magistrates’ court.
“There is no evidence to show that there was miscommunication during trial. It is my considered view that the conviction was rightfully anchored,” judge Chitabo said.
He said he had also considered Nkhomo’s mitigation, noting that he had three children.
“Attempting to rape a woman is a serious offence. I hereby sentence you to seven years imprisonment with hard labour and leave to appeal to the superior court is granted,” said Judge Chitabo