A 28-YEAR-OLD pastor of Revival for All Nations Church in Kitwe has walked to freedom after the Kitwe High Court overturned the subordinate court’s decision to convict him of rape.
Justice Isaac Kamwendo acquitted James Thewo, of house number 31 Congo Way in Kitwe’s Riverside, who was facing one count of rape.
It was alleged that on June 1, last year, in Kitwe, Thewo had unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent. The incident was alleged to have taken place at Thewo’s house where the woman had gone to attend prayers.
In overturning the lower court’s decision, Justice Kamwendo noted that the court did not consider the accused’s evidence.
He also said that there was no corroborating evidence in the matter and the conviction was unsafe.
“The victim and her siblings, who were the only witnesses with a possible interest to serve, were found to be lying on the material points of the case which rendered their evidence incredible. The magistrate did not warn himself on the danger of convicting the suspect on evidence of the suspect’s witnesses,” Justice Kamwendo said.
“I find that the state failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, and I therefore set the accused person at liberty,” he said.
During trial, the victim testified that on the material day, she was attending a prayer meeting which Thewo was conducting.
She narrated that after the prayers, the accused asked for her mobile phone number because he had a vision from God about her.
The court heard that at 05:00 hours the following day, Thewo called the woman and told her that he had another vision and that she needed to go to his house for prayers.
And when she went to his house at 15:00 hours, she discovered that there was no one else who had gone to attend prayers at the pastor’s house.
It was at this point that Thewo lured the victim and raped her.
The matter was later reported to the police where the pastor was charged and arrested for the subject offence.