By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE –
THE Supreme Court has upheld a 20-year jail sentence slapped on a police officer who was convicted of defiling a juvenile that was detained at Matero Police Station in 2014.
Supreme Court Judge Elizabeth Muyovwe said Winfred Mapapayi sexually abused the girl, who was in detention at the police station and, as such, he was guilty of the offence.
Ms Justice Muyovwe said Mapapayi’s appeal had no merit as the High Court was on firm ground to slap him with a 20-year jail sentence.
“There was evidence that on that night, the girl was sexually abused, not withstanding your defence that the girl was already sexually active and that she was pregnant. Therefore your appeal has no merit as the High Court was on firm ground to slap you with a 20-year jail sentence,” Ms Justice Muyovwe said.
The crime was committed on Valentines Day, with the girl detained at the police station for allegedly stealing her mother’s money.
As the cells at the police were full, Mapapayi moved the girl to another room where he sexually abused her.
Mapapayi had argued that he was not guilty of defiling a girl who already sexually active as she was pregnant.
Ms Justice Muyovwe said in her judgment yesterday that the fact that the girl was already pregnant did not matter but what mattered was the fact that on the material day the girl was sexually abused.
She said that Mapapayi could not get away with the argument that the girl was already sexually active because she was pregnant.
Meanwhile, in another Supreme Court judgment yesterday, an appeal by another police officer challenging the 25-year jail sentence handed to him for murdering a marketeer in Siavonga in Southern Province was also dismissed.
Supreme Court Judge Jane Kabuka said when she delivered judgment yesterday that it was a proven fact that Henry Chiwisa was drunk and moving around with a firearm on the day he committed the crime.
He had been drinking the highly potent illicit brew ‘Kachasu’ from about 20:00 hours to 04:00 hours.
The accused had told the court that he did not know what he was doing and that he had been provoked by the deceased.
On the material day, Chiwisa had gone to the market in a drunken state where a woman he owed K15 for a local fruit, commonly known as vibuyu, approached him demanding her money.
This angered Chiwisa who shot the woman, resulting in her death.
The High Court sentenced Chiwisa to 25 years imprisonment, but he appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that he was intoxicated at the time of committing the office.
Ms Justice Kabuka upheld the High Court ruling, saying it was on firm ground to have sentenced Chiwisa to 25 years imprisonment.