Judge recuses from Eric Aniva appeal case
High Court Judge, Sylvester Kalembela, has recused from the Eric Aniva appeal case which was set to start yesterday.
However, it is unclear why the judge has made the decision.
Aniva’s lawyer, Zwelithini Chipembere, said the registrar of the junior division was also not available to give out information.
“The judge who was assigned has said he no longer wants to preside over the matter but I have not been able to get the reasons. I got this from the court clerks after failing to get information from the registrar of the junior division.
“As it stands, we have to wait for another judge to be assigned the case. The judge will then communicate the dates the case will resume,” he said.
The appellant, Aniva, was convicted in November last year of Indulging in harmful practices, contrary to Section 5 of Gender Equality Act of 2013 for allegedly sleeping with over 100 women and children, potentially infecting them with HIV, a virus that causes Aids.
According to a petition of his appeal, Aniva claims that the lower court erred in convicting and sentencing him which, he said, caused failure of justice.
During the trial, last year, Aniva opted to exercise his right to remain silent after the Magistrate Court, sitting in Nsanje, found him with a case to answer for the offence.
His counsel raised a number of issues, including that the law which was used to charge him was only three years old against a practice that was over 100 years and that the State did not bring any victim of Aniva’s crime.
However, Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi, who was presiding over the case, convicted and sentenced Aniva to two years imprisonment with hard labour.
Aniva is appealing against both conviction and sentencing.
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