Court News

Court of Appeal upholds defiler uncle’s conviction, sentence

By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA
THE Court of Appeal has upheld a life sentence slapped on a Lusaka accountant for sodmising his five-year-old nephew.

Victor Mulungwe, 42, was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour for a charge of unnatural offences last year by the Lusaka High court judge, Elita Mwikisa.
Facts are that Mulungwe on November 27, 2014, sexually abused his nephew against the order of nature. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
He however, appealed against both his conviction and the sentence imposed on him.
Mulungwe’s grounds of appeal was that the charge he was facing, was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.
And that the sentencing judge failed to give him credit for being a first offender, when she imposed the maximum sentence.
His lawyer argued that the finding of the boy in his house was nothing unusual and could not have amounted to ‘something more’ as the convict was the uncle.
The defence team therefore stated that it should not, in the circumstances, have been considered to be supporting evidence. But the State advocate Bob Mwewa argued that on the material day, the victim was found standing in between Mulungwe’s legs while he was seated on a bed.
Mr Mwewa further stated that the boy looked distressed and became withdrawn and the following day when the child was checked after complaining , he was found to have been sexually abused, and a medical report confirmed so.
In its judgement , the Court of Appeal said instead of Mulungwe being protective as an uncle, he abused the boy.
Court of Appeal deputy judge president Chalwe Mchenga, sitting with justice Betty Majula and judge Mwiinde Siavwapa said the sentence of life imprisonment did not come to them with a sense of shock , as being excessive.
The Court therefore found no merit in the appeal against sentence and dismissed it.
“Both the appeal against sentence and conviction having been unsuccessful, this appeal fails and it is dismissed. The appellant’s (Mulungwe) conviction and sentence are upheld,” read the judgement.

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