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Hundreds bay for suspect’s blood

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Jessie Kabwira

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has adjourned to March 15 a case in which Stuart Kalungama, whom he denied bail, is alleged to have defiled his step-daughter at Chilinde Township in Lilongwe.

During court hearing on Thursday, Kalungama pleaded not guilty to a charge that he slept with a minor.

Hundreds of irate women and men wearing T-shirts written ‘Justice for Innocent Child’ gathered at the Lilongwe Magistrates Court in protest and showered insults at the accused.

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There was tight security at the courts as angry women bayed for the accused’s blood.

Lawyer representing Kalungama, Edward Chagamukira, applied that his client should be given bail considering that police have not completed investigations.

“May I ask the court to consider giving my client bail based on the fact that investigations on the matter are on-going. The accused is an ICT Consultant, a well-established businessman and considering that he is a Malawian, he cannot jump bail and if the court agrees they should put stiffer bail conditions,” he had argued in court.

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Lead State Prosecutor, Cecilia Zangazanga asked the court not to release the accused on bail, arguing he may influence the minor and that security of the accused was at stake.

She argued that the accused can interfere with state witnesses and there was a high possibility for him to jump bail.

Chief Resident Magistrate Chirwa denied Kalungama bail on the premise that he was in close relationships with the complainant, mother and child.

“I have heard about the objections from lawyers representing the accused but the relationship between the accused and complainants is so strong that one cannot release such a person on bail,” he said

One of the concerned citizens and human rights activists Jesse Kabwila vowed to be attending the court session until justice prevails on the child.

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