The Second Grade Magistrate Court in Lilongwe on Thursday gave state prosecutors and defence lawyers 21 days to present their submissions in order for the court to determine whether the accused has a case to answer or not in a high-profile assault case involving two Lilongwe residents, Elufe Gideon and Willard Maloro.
Second grade magistrate Taonga Muwalo gave the 21 days after the state paraded its last witness in a bid to concretize its case against the accused, Maloro.
Gideon accuses Maloro of assault which she claims led to “extensive” damage to her right eye.
The two, who are neighbours in Area 22 in the Capital Lilongwe, had an altercation which allegedly resulted in Maloro assaulting Gideon.
Apparently, Maloro had reportedly parked his car in Gideon’s backyard in early March, blocking the latter’s way out.
And when Gideon complained about that, Maloro allegedly assaulted her, resulting in this court case which has attracted the attention of firebrand politician and vocal gender rights activist Jessie Kabwira and scores of other members of the general public.
The state’s last witness, Jonathan Chiusi, who is a senior opthalmology clinical officer at Kamuzu Central Hospital, testified on Thursday that Gideon had indeed visited the hospital on 7 March and complained of “a painful right eye and loss of vision occasioned by assault with an unspecified object”.
Chiusi added that he had examined the eye and saw that, among other things, it was red in colour and its eyelids were swollen. He said the damage was “huge and could lead to total blindness in the eye”.
The evidence presented by Chiusi and several other state witnesses, is the one on which both sides will base their submissions so the court can determine whether Maloro really has a case to answer or not.
State prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.
But one of Maloro’s lawyers, Mwai Banda from Tembenu, Masumbu & Co–said they will make their submission as demanded by the court and “defend their client should the court find him with a case to answer”.
Meanwhile, Kabwira, who said she is representing Liwu La Nzika–a defense mechanism for women in Malawi–told journalists outside the court that she feels the security for Gideon could be compromised with the accused freely roaming the streets on bail. She fears there could be schemes to threaten Gideon or even silence her.
However, Kabwira said women in the country are solidly behind Gideon and will ensure she is protected.
“We will make sure that the women movement continues to uphold institutions of this country in order to ensure that the lives of women are better. We will support Gideon. We will speak out whenever anything happens to her. It is our democratic right,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :