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From Pulpit to Courtroom – Pastor John General’s Rape Trial Begins

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Today, Pastor John Nundwe, also known as John General, appeared in the Lusaka Magistrate Court before Honourable Amy Masoja to face charges of raping a married woman, in Lusaka.The alleged incident occurred on November 22, 2023.

The State, represented by lead counsel Mrs. Monde Muyoba-Chizongo, Senior State Advocate, Mrs. Cynthia-Simwatachela Mwila, State Advocate and Mr. Joe Phiri, Senior Public Prosecutor alleges that Pastor John General violated Section 132 and 133 of the Penal Code, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, by unlawfully having carnal knowledge of the woman without her consent. At the start of the court hearing, the prosecution applied for an in-camera hearing to protect the victim’s privacy, which was granted in part.

The court ruled that the matter would only be heard in camera when the victim testifies. The court further prohibited the media from identifying the victim and anyone connected to her in any media reports.

The Prosecution called its first witness, 71-year-old Langson Njungu, a village headman. According to Mr. Njungu, the husband of the victim, whom we shall refer to as Mr. Tee Man, arrived at his home in distress, reporting that he had found the accused person having intercourse with his wife against her will.

The witness recounted that he received a phone call from his son informing him that Mr. Tee Man was at the headman’s home and requested him to go to Mr. Tee Man’s house to see what had transpired at his home.

When the witness arrived his home, he found Mr. Tee waiting for himself and it was at that point he was informed by Mr. Tee that his wife had been raped and that the witness should follow him to see what had happened.

Mr. Njungu together with Mr. Tee and others memebers of the society went to Mr. Tee Man’s house and upon arrival, the witness was shown a black car belonging to Pastor John General parked outside the house.

Inside the house, Mr. Tee Man showed the headmen where he had found a strange man, later identified as the accused person’s bodyguard, sitting in the living room on a brown sofa. The witness was then shown the bedroom from where Mr. Tee Man heard voices of a man and a woman. Upon entering the room, the witness was shown the bed where the incident occurred, noting the blood-stained blanket and the items of clothing the accused had left behind in his haste to escape. The clothes included a green pair of trousers, a black belt, blue men’s briefs, a pair of grey shorts, a black hat labeled “BMW,” a t-shirt, a black pair of sliders, a set of car keys, and a black mobile phone. These items were marked for identification purposes in court. Mr. Njungu stated that after the Police who had already been informed of the incident came to the scene and conducted their investigation and collected all items found at the scene.

Mr. Njungu further testified that a few days later he was paid a courtesy visit from a person named Apostle Kunda who came with threee other people. He testified that Apostle Kunda told him that he had come on behalf of John General and requested if they could make an appointment for John General with Mr. Njungu so that they could come and talk about the rape case issue. Mr. Njungu further testified that the appointment was made but John General did not show up as he was advised by his lawyers that it would not be safe for him to go.

During cross-examination, by the defence team, Yokoniah Daka and M. Banda from George Kunda and Company, the witness confirmed that he did not see the accused person sleeping with the victim; he was only informed by Mr. Tee Man, the victim’s husband. Further, when asked if he was an expert to know that the blood on the blanket was period blood. The witness responded that he was not an expert, but he knew that the blood he saw on the blanket was period blood because he saw it with his eyes. He also told the court that his son phoned him while he was in town to tell him that Mr. Tee Man was waiting for him at his house at around 14hours, and he got back to his house from town at around 17hours. He also revealed that Mr. Tee Man, the victim’s husband, went to him after the incident because they know each other well from playing football together and Mr. Tee Man calls him “father.” Additionally, the witness admitted that when they arrived at the house, a lot of people had gathered, but they did not touch the clothes left behind by the accused person.

The trial has been adjourned to August 1 and 2, 2024, when additional witnesses will be called.

Stay tuned for further updates on this case and more on our National Prosecution Authority website and social media pages.

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