THE Lusaka High Court has acquitted a University of Zambia lecturer who was accused of causing the death of his colleague Greenford Mucheleng’anga and a hired guide Elias Chalwe during a hunting expedition in the Kafue plains in 2013.
Before judge Mwape Bowa was Dr. Gershom Chishimba who was initially charged with murder but it was later reduced to manslaughter.
Allegations were that Dr Chishimba shot dead Muchelenganga and Chalwe on December 27, 2013 but he denied the charge.
Delivering judgment yesterday, judge Bowa said there was no doubt that two people were shot dead during a hunting expedition in Kafue plains in December 2013.
He said the issue he needed to resolve was whether Dr Chishimba unlawfully caused the death of his friend and the hired guide.
Judge Bowa said there was total negligence on the part of the accused and the deceased on moving apart from each other when they went hunting for birds.
The court had heard that the deceased and the accused moved about three meters away from each other.
Judge Bowa said there were inconsistencies in the prosecutions case which should operate in favour of the accused.
He, however, said he did not consider the evidence of two prosecution witnesses who were Mucheleng’anga’s relatives because there was possible bias in their evidence.
Judge Bowa said he found that Dr Chishimba’s firearm accidentally discharged, hitting the two deceased after he slipped and fell in a ditch.
“The prosecutions has failed to prove the case of manslaughter and I forthwith set him at liberty,” said judge Bowa.
The court heard during trial that Mucheleng’anga, who was a friend and workmate to Dr Chishimba, invited him to go for hunting and that on December 27, 2013, they drove to Kafue plains.
When they got there, they hired two guides to show them where birds were found.
The court had heard that the accused paired himself with Aaron Chibwe while Mucheleng’anga moved with Chalwe.
It was heard that Dr Chishimba and Mucheleng’anga agreed to move in pairs about three meters away from each other.
Mucheleng’anga and Chalwe were in front while Dr Chishimba and Chibwe followed behind.
It was further heard that the ground was wet as it had rained the previous day and as Dr Chishimba continued to follow behind, he fell in a ditch and his gun discharged two bullets which hit Mucheleng’anga and Chalwe who were in front.
Dr Chishimba heard his friend and the guide screaming that he hurt them.
By the time Dr Chishimba and his guide organised transport and help from other people in order to ferry Mucheleng’anga and Chalwe to the nearest health facility, they had died from bleeding.