…James Bwalya, Mathews Sikaonga admit to rape, assault, trafficking and aggravated robbery.
By NATION REPORTER
Two men accused of abducting 13 women and subjecting them to torture, pleaded guilty to over 50 criminal charges including rape, assault, trafficking and aggravated robbery.
James Bwalya, 23, and Mathews Sikaonga, 22, were last year indicated with 54 and 53 counts respectively, for the abduction and confinement of the 13 women who included juveniles.
The accused persons committed the offences between January and October, 2022, and held captive their victims at a house in Chalala, Lusaka.
The victims were rescued on October 3, 2022, by Zambia Police and other members of the public.
When the matter came up on Monday, for taking of plea before Lusaka High Court Judge Charles Kafunda, the humble looking Bwalya and Sikaonga, both pleaded guilty to all the charges which include assault occasioning actual bodily harm, trafficking of human for purposing of sexual exploitation, aggravated robbery, rape and abduction.
Judge Kafunda entered the pleas of guilty in respect of the two suspects and adjourned the matter to Thursday.
And the court ordered for the substitution of the victims’ names with their initials for the protection of their private lives during proceedings.
This followed an application by the State to amend the charge sheet replacing the victims’ names with initials.