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William Banda acquitted

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United Party for National Development (UPND) member William Banda has been acquitted for his offence of attempted assault to MUVI television Journalist Lloyd Kapusa.

Mr Banda who appeared before Lusaka Magistrate Boniface Mwiinga in the company of his lawyer Martha Mushipe pleaded guilty to the offence when the matter came up for plea on September 4, this year.

This is in a matter were Mr Banda was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm contrary to section 248 of the penal code and chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

However today when the matter came up for commencement of trial, complainant in the case Lloyd Kapusa made an application to court to have the matter withdrawn.

Mr Kapusa told court that he intended to withdraw the matter after carrying wider consultations adding that the media has been in the forefront in preaching peace, forgiveness and reconciliation therefore he saw it fit to forgive Mr Banda.

He further told court that Mr Banda has shown remorse for his action, and did reservedly apologize in person to him, to media organizations and the nation at large.

In passing ruling on the application Magistrate Mwiinga told court that it was the complainants constitutional right to withdraw the matter if they feel so according to the criminal procedural court section 201 and section 8.

Magistrate Mwiinga however told the complainant to inform the court on any conditions that he felt should be attached to the withdrawal.

In response Mr Kapusa told court that he had no conditions to add but that his condition was that of forgiveness.

But Prosecutor Cephas Ng’onga reminded the complainant that the court has every right to refuse the withdrawal if there are no sufficient grounds adding that there had been media reports published in relation to the matter suggesting that the two had meet and that there was an inducement given to the complainant for him to withdraw the matter.

Further Mr Ng’onga asked Mr Kapusa to clarify the statements so that the court could record a pure withdrawal than that of an induced withdrawal.

Mr Kapusa however told court that if such statements where there then the police at which the report suggest they met should have the record but later changed and told court that his withdrawal was merely out of forgiveness.

It was at this point that defence lawyer Martha Mushipe asked court to stop interfering with the complainant’s stance adding that the complainant had stated his reasons and was satisfied to have the matter withdrawn.

Meanwhile Magistrate Mwiinga told both parties that in the interest of justice and reconciliation in accordance with section 201 and section 8 upon which reconciliation were established in the constitution an acquittal can be granted or denied considering the prevalence of such cases in the country.

But he further told court that he had no objection but to guarantee an acquittal to the defendant.

This is in a matter where it was alleged that Mr Banda on August 22, this year did assault Lloyd Kapusa thereby occasioning bodily harm when he was filming at Woodlands police station when Mr Banda was being interrogated by government joint investigation team for been in possession of properties suspected to be proceeds of crime.

(Source: ZANIS/Mwebantu New Media)

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