Two women who assaulted nurse have case to answer, court rules

The Senior Resident Magistrate’s court in Blantyre on Wednesday found two women who are being accused of assaulting and wounding Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) nurse with a case to answer.

The two, Esnart Selemani, 53 and her daughter Yankho, 30, allegedly assaulted the nurse, Gertrude Moffat, in ward 5A on February 17 while she was in line of duty.

According to evidence presented before the court by the witnesses, the accused persons who were at the hospital to cheer their sick relative, assaulted the nurse after she (nurse) ordered them to leave the ward as a way of adhering to COVID-19 preventive measures, a development which created a bone of contention between the two sides.

In his ruling, on Wednesday, Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Manyongo, said following evidence presented in court by the state witnesses the court is satisfied that the two accused persons have a case to answer bordering on assault and causing bodily harm.

He said according to the evidence gathered it has shown that on the day of the incident the nurse was injured on her neck, finger and the rib.

Speaking to YFM after the ruling, Chief Legal Aid Advocate, Rodgers Mpombeza who is representing the two accused persons, said the defense will make an application to recall the prosecution witnesses because the time they appealed in court the accused persons had no legal representation.

He said: “We accept the ruling and we are going forward to prepare the defense and we are also going to file an application in which we are going to compel the attendance of prosecution witnesses because when they appeared in court the accused persons had no legal representation and the law allows us to recall those witnesses for cross examination.”

Meanwhile the court has ordered both sides to make their submissions within seven days.

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