Abductor’ finally fit enough to stand trial 

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A physician at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has certified that ‘abductor’ James Bwalya is in good shape to undergo trial as he has recuperated from his spinal cord injury.

At the last session Dr Brian Sonkwe a consultant orthopedic and spine surgeon at UTH had prescribed that Bwalya be put on bed rest for three weeks as his injury was deteriorating.

Dr Sonkwe had proposed that Bwalya be confined to his bed for three weeks, with repeated physical and radiological assessment.

However following a physical examination conducted on the Bwalya on May 29, Dr Sonkwe observed that the former is not experiencing excruciating pain and there is progress in his healing due to the three weeks bed rest he recommended.

According to the medical report submitted before the High Court, Bwalya indicated that the agonizing pain on his spinal injury has subsided.

“Bwalya is mobile in a corset and without walking aid or assistance. The tenderness has reduced at the cite of the injury. The neurology has remained the same as of the last review. X-ray does not show any significant increase in the deformity,” Dr Sonkwe indicated.

He recommended that Bwalya should wear a corset when moving, avoid strenuous activities like lifting heavy loads and do work that requires bending.

Dr Sonkwe said Bwalya should only sit for two hours with a corset and that he should continue taking oral medication and supplements and he should be reviewed in six weeks.

Based on the medical report Judge Charles Kafunda declared Bwalya healthy to undergo trial as the injury which prevented him from answering to the countless charges of offences against humanity.

“A latest review carried out on May 29, 2023 and which is a subject of the report of a given date however revealed that Bwalya’s condition has significantly improved, there is significant reduction of pain at the site of the injury. That being the case, I now declare Bwalya fit to stand trial as the primary condition of pain which impeded his ability to stand trial or follow proceedings has now improved,” ordered judge Kafunda.

“In the event of trial, defence counsel will be free to approach the bench and seek for breaks in accordance with the recommendations prescribed by the attendant doctor.”

Bwalya is jointly charged with his childhood best friend Matthews Sikaonga on 53 counts of abduction, rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, prohibition of trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual exploitation and aggravated robbery involving more than K100, 000.

The two ever-masked suspects will be back in Court on June 5, 2023 for plea.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba May 31, 2023.

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