Chiponda Kalawa, 33, was arrested on October 7, 2021, on suspicion of defiling the girl in her mother’s home.
At that time, Kalawa sought legal representation from Legal Aid Bureau, and the matter was taken up by Senior Legal Aid Advocates Clive Chiudzu and Chikondi Kambuwa.
During the trial, state witnesses alleged that the accused had forced himself on the victim after going to the house to collect clothes from a man called Allan.
However, Kalawa denied the allegations and maintained that he had been called to the house by the girl’s father to assist in bringing her back home from where she had married.
After hearing from both sides, His Worship Senior Resident Magistrate Wanangwa Nyirenda ruled that the medical report brought by the state was not conclusive.
The report indicated that there had been a penetration, but the girl had other sexual partners, making it impossible to determine who was responsible for the sexual encounter.
Additionally, one of the state witnesses testified that the girl had never had sex with anyone, but the medical report contradicted this claim.
The court found that the evidence presented by the state was inconsistent and not believable, leading to Kalawa’s acquittal.
After spending over a year in custody, Kalawa is now a free man.
The case highlights the importance of ensuring that all evidence is credible and conclusive before reaching a verdict, especially in cases where serious criminal charges are involved.