Zambia: Pastor Has Case to Answer for Sexual Abuse

November 16, 2007

A LUSAKA magistrates court yesterday found a 64-year-old pastor with a case to answer on five counts of sexually abusing five girls at Bethel Orphanage in Kafue.

Magistrate Aridah Chulu, found Pastor James Gondwe with a case to answer on all the five counts and put him on his defence.

Mrs Chulu said the prosecution team had adduced sufficient evidence against Gondwe to warrant him to be put on his defence.

This is in the case in which Gondwe is facing five counts of indecent assault on five different girls at the orphanage where he is the director.

Facts are that Gondwe sexually abused the girls aged between 12 and 16 on different dates from 2006 until late last year when the matter was reported to police.

Gondwe who opted to give evidence on oath indicated that he would call four witnesses when he opens his defence and Magistrate Chulu allowed him time to prepare.

"At this stage there is no need for the court to go into details of prosecution evidence of whether or not you have been found with a case to answer but there is enough evidence for the accused to be put on his defence," said the magistrate. One girl, 13, revealed that she had been abused from the time she was in grade seven until Grade 10.

It is alleged that Gondwe used to abuse the girls in his office every time they would go to ask for things like lotion, soap and other groceries for their personal use.

Mrs Chulu adjourned the case to January 14, 2008 for his defence.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.