The Kitwe High Court has found 18 of the 19 suspected Tokota gang members with a case to answer in a matter they are charged with acts intended to cause grievous harm, poisoning and kidnapping. In his ruling yesterday, Kitwe High Court judge-in-charge Timothy Katanekwa said from the evidence adduced so far, he is satisfied that the State has established a prima facie case against the accused persons on all the three counts except the 11th suspect.
“From the evidence adduced so far, I am satisfied that a reasonable tribunal would convict all the accused persons on all counts save for the 11th accused person, Lazarus Zulu,” Justice Katanekwa said. He said the evidence of the fifth prosecution’s witness, Cuthbeck Nkonde, put the rest of the accused persons at the scene of crime and shows that they were acting together.
Justice Katanekwa said Cuthbeck’s evidence excluded Lazarus from the crime scene and that his identification at the police station was doubtful. “The State has not raised a prima facie case against the 11th accused person on all the three counts. I find him with no case to answer and acquit him accordingly,” he said.
In this matter, 18 suspected Tokota gang members are accused in count one of engaging in acts intended to cause grievous harm. Particulars of the case are that on April 30 this year in Kitwe, with intent to maim, injure, disfigure or disable Cuthbeck, the accused caused grievous bodily harm on him. In the second count, they are accused of unlawful wounding or poisoning with intent to injure or annoy Cuthbeck.
On the material day, the accused allegedly forced Cuthbeck to eat faecal matter.
In the final count, the suspected gang members are accused of kidnapping or abducting Cuthbeck and subjecting him to grievous harm. At the beginning of the trial, all the 19 suspects pleaded not guilty to the three counts but 18 of them were found with a case to answer and put on their defence.
Those who have been put on defence include Limbikani Phiri, Musonda Semba, David Katepa, Lucky Mwaba, Wisdom Chilekwa, Bill Mulenga, Moses Chilambe, Boniface Lubansa and Wensy Chilembo. Others are Richard Siame, Kingsley Ngóna, Bernard Phiri, Sydney Kasase, Doctor Simweemba, Mills Mumba, Abraham Sikazwe, Teddy Chilufya and Trust Sinkala.
The matter comes up today for defence.