Father acquitted for whipping son

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MULENGA MUSONDA

 A FATHER accused of assaulting his 10-year-old after the animals he was herding strayed and grazed in a neighbour’s field hashad his case dismissed for lack of evidence.

The Choma Fast Track Court for GBV acquitted the 32-year-old man who faced a five-year jail term on allegations that he ruthlessly assaulted his son.

In this matter, Stanley Hantoombwe was charged with one count of assault on a child contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Allegations were that Hantoombwe assaulted his son, a child believed to be below the age of 16.

The alleged incident was said to have occurred on December 14, 2020 when the boy failed to secure the animals that strayed into a neighbour’s fields.

It is was alleged that Hantoombwe was infuriated by the boy’s negligent act and decided to punish him using a whip made of animal skin. 

He denied the allegations and stated that the boy fell and hurt himself.

When the matter came up for judgment before Resident Magistrate Ethel Phiri, she said in her findings, the evidence from all the witnesses except the victim was pure hearsay.

She said the victim’s mother and grandmother did not bother to ask the accused person after the child reported that he had been beaten by the Father

The court stated that there were two inferences drawn from the case. It could have been possible that the child fell or was beaten and in such a case, the court adopts the inference that is favourable to the accused person.

She thus found Hantoombwe not guilty of the charge and acquitted him forthwith.

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