TWO men accused of abducting Pamela Chisumpa and 12 other females in Lusaka’s Chalala area will undergo mental examination before taking plea in the High Court.
This is to ascertain whether James Bwalya, 22, and Matthews Sikaonga, also 22 are mentally fit to attend trial.
The Court has also ordered that Bwalya be referred for medical examination to determine his fitness to attend trial given the injuries sustained on his back.
Bwalya could be seen in pain and required Sikaonga’s aid to walk.
The two who appeared this morning before High Court Judge Charles Kafunda, are facing 54 counts which include aggravated robbery, abduction, assault and rape. Defence lawyer Osborne Ngoma made an application that the two be subjected to mental examination before taking plea.
Mr Ngoma said their mental fitness be examined before, during and after the commission of the offences.
He also made an application for Bwalya to be physically examined to ascertain his ability to attend trial.
Mr Ngoma explained that Bwalya was involved in an activity that led to him falling and sustained some backache injury, to an extent that he was undergoing excruciating pain which is affecting his mental faculty.
The State did not object to the application but asked the court to set a date of receipt of the medical reports to ensure a speedy trial.
Judge Kafunda ruled that the examination would be limited to the accused persons’ state of mind to attend trial and not during the period of the alleged commission of the offences.
He said that the state of mind of the duo during the period of the alleged commission of the offence followed the separate procedure to the defence of the accused persons.
He ordered that the medical report for the two be tendered on April 6, 2023.
“The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health together with the Commissioner General of the Zambia Correctional Services of course acting through their officers shall coordinate this process and ensure that the examination is under taken within the period beginning today up to Wednesday and that a medical personal undertaking the examination and preparing the reports be before the court on the 6th of April ,2023, to tender the said report,” he said.
Judge Kafunda adjourned the matter to April 6, 2023.
It is alleged that on September 14, 2022 in Lusaka, Bwalya and Sikaonga intentionally and unlawfully did traffic a victim within Zambia for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
In another count, the duo is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to Section 248 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
The duo on dates unknown but between September 14, 2022 and October 3, 2022 at Lusaka did assault a victim thereby occasioning actual bodily harm to her.