Elections

 

Innocent Mahoto, a 78-year-old retired Director of Education in the Zambezi Region, appeared before Katima Mulilo Magistrate Davy Kambinda for the first time.

He is facing charges related to rape.

Mahoto stands accused of raping a 16-year-old girl who is a learner at one of the local schools in the Zambezi Region.

It is alleged that he had a sexual relationship with her from December 2022 to March 2023.

The retired Director of Education was arrested on allegations of having a sexual relationship with a minor who is a Zambian national residing in the region.

During his court appearance, Mahoto was represented by Bernard Tjatjara.

State Prosecutor Cedrick Mundia, responsible for the case's postponement, objected to granting bail to the accused due to the seriousness of the offence.

Mundia stated that the investigation into the case was still ongoing and that several statements from State witnesses had yet to be obtained.

The State provided additional reasons for refusing bail to Mahoto, including concerns about the public interest, potential interference with witnesses, and tampering with investigations.

Despite the State Prosecutor's explanation that he was only authorised to postpone the case due to the absence of the assigned Prosecutor on compassionate leave, the accused's legal counsel insisted on submitting a formal bail application.

However, due to Acting Control Prosecutor Cynthia Matiti recusing herself from the case as she is related to the accused, further proceedings were halted.

The matter was postponed to Tuesday for the determination of the bail hearing date and arguments, as well as submissions from the State.

In the meantime, the case has been postponed to August 2nd to allow for further investigations

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Author
Sililo Mubiana