THE Lusaka High Court has placed murder suspect Nshinka Kaputu on his defence inn a matter were he is accused of slaying MultiChoice employee Precious Mangesana and grievously wounding his daughter. High Court judge Catherine Phiri has found the accused with a case to answer for allegedly shooting dead his lover and causing grievous bodily harm to his three-year-old child in a crime of passion.
Justice Phiri found Kaputu with a case to answer as the state had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“In count one, the accused is charged with murder contrary to section 200 chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia. Information on record is that there is sufficient evidence that the accused was found with a gun in his hands and spare magazines after the incident. I therefore find him with a case to answer on this charge,” justice Phiri said..
“On the second count, it is understood that the child was found with a gunshot wound in the neck. This is a serious offence meant to cause grievous wound on a person. I find Nshinka Kaputu with a case to answer on both counts and place him on his defence.”
According to their submissions on case to answer, the State had asked the court to find the murder accused with a case to answer on grounds that it was a fact that he was at the scene of crime at the time of the shooting and that he was found with a firearm which was confirmed to have been the weapon used to shoot dead his lover.
The State said that according to the pathologist, it was a fact that a bullet had penetrated the deceased’s neck on the right and made an exit wound on the left side of the neck and later lodged in the neck of the child. The State said Kaputu was not only found with the firearm but he was also found with a spare magazine. The State also submitted that any reasonable tribunal would convict Kaputu from the evidence adduced so far.
“From the evidence adduced by the prosecution so far, the court should find the accused with a case to answer. At this stage, the burden of the prosecution is barely to prove a prima facie case against the accused and not to prove the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” the state said.
Meanwhile, Kaputo’s lawyer, Muyunda Hibajele, prayed the court to find Kaputu guilty of manslaughter and not murder.
Hibajele argued that the evidence of murder had not been sufficiently proved by the state.
Mangesana met her fate on October 5, 2017 when she went to get her daughter who was a bone of contention between the pair from Kaputo’s residence in Lusaka’s Meanwood area.
The incident occurred around 19 hours following a misunderstanding on who was going to take custody of the child.
The matter comes up on June 24 for opening of defence.