A couple, who is currently serving prison sentences for raping a minor in 2007 in the Zambezi region, suffered a legal blow when their appeal application against their conviction was struck from the roll by the High Court.
Judges Dinnah Usiku and Claudia Claasen struck the matter from the roll due to an incomplete appeal record.
Furthermore, the judges noted, “The appeal record is chaotically arranged, which does not comply with the prescriptions in the updated Justice Codes (Code Criminal) as regards to the binding of appeal records”.
Mbumbo Mukelenge Maanda and his wife Joreen Samalopa filed an appeal with the High Court, indicating the Katima Mulilo Regional Court failed to find that the State failed to prove its case against them without any reasonable doubt.
They claim the said court failed to note that there was no corroborating medical evidence that an act of rape was committed.
They also claim the evidence relied upon by the court in its ruling was riddled with lies, inconsistencies and contradictions.
They further claim the court failed to see that the victim fabricated the alleged sexual act, and they are innocent in the matter.
Maanda and Samalopa were each convicted on two counts of rape.
Consequently, they were sentenced in 2016 to 10 years imprisonment on each of the two counts.
The couple is said to have raped an 11-year-old in 2007 at Sampingo village in the Sachona area.
According to the victim’s testimony that forms part of the record, on an unknown date in May 2007, Samalopa – cousin to the victim – called the minor into their courtyard, where they informed her they were going to teach her how to satisfy a man.
During the “lesson”, the couple allegedly fondled the minor’s private parts.
On the second occasion, while the victim was attending a traditional drum-beating event, Samalopa called the victim out and informed her she was needed back home.
While on their way, Maanda appeared and they diverted to the couple’s courtyard.
She was allegedly induced into a deep sleep and got raped by Maanda.
The couple allegedly told the victim they wanted to prove that she is now older and mature.
The victim only confessed after her aunt questioned why she was not walking properly.