NOT GUILTY: 18-19
PLACE: Supreme Court, Bulawayo
JUDGE: JOHN WHITE
DEFENDANT: Kate Moyo
LAWYER: Craig Brown
DECEASED’S WIFE: Rita Kalango
LAWYER: Mildred Greens
BAILIFF: Sam Nyoni
NARRATOR: Amanda Amy Moffat
She walked inside the court room dressed in a black suit, obviously not a trouser at the bottom but a pencil skirt that suited her perfectly well and showed off her curves. Miguel couldn’t keep his eyes off her as he held Jasmine in his arms as if though he was the biological dad. She looked like one of those accountants at the CBZ but the only difference was that she was handcuffed and a policewoman was escorting her to the benches. The room had already been filled with people, some being relatives and few journalists that were made to leave their cameras outside so as to avoid destructions in the court house. She sat on the bench at the left side of the room and her eyes met with the person who was supposed to be in handcuffs. She quickly looked aside not wanting to lose her confidence. They removed the handcuffs. Craig whispered in her ear,
‘You are going to be alright. Trust me we going to win this. Remember what I told you.’
She nodded remembering all the things that she had been told by him. It was going to be very hard but she sure was 100% confident that they were going to win. She looked at her young sister and really wished she was able to see her. But the good news was that Karen had a chance of seeing again according to the door they had found from India. She wasn’t ready for an operation but was willing to try just after the court case.
Rita on the other side was wearing a black dress and a black hat. Pretending to be hurting, everyone felt pity for her even some of the juries. They all thought Kate was guilty and indeed killed Jason. The reason why she was trying to set herself free was that: there was a child involved and she didn’t want to be in prison, so they thought. She was just trying to escape a death penalty for stabbing an innocent man 16 times in cold blood.
Juliet wanted to apologize to Kate for betraying her but then Rita had threatened to hurt her family countless times. Being at Rita’s side, she felt guilty for not being there for her friend when she was the one who introduced her to her brother. It was her faults, if only she knew what kind of a woman Rita was, she should have made wiser decision concerning her friendship with Kate. She should have never listened to her brother when he told her that he wanted Kate to be his second wife.
Rita looked at her as her eyes were focused on Kate giving her a sign not to disappoint her. She was to lie at the stand. Tell the people in the court that Kate was obsessed with his brother and she is the one who killed him.
The Bailiff quickly stood up and so did everyone who was sitting:
BAILIFF: Come to order. Court is now in session Honorable John White presiding.
JUDGE: Good day ladies and gentlemen. The accused, Miss Kate Moyo was charged with the murder of Jason Kalango under section 302 of Penal Code. She committed the offence at around 8pm, October 25 2018 at the premises 02 Bridgewater Road, Sauesrtown. Today the prosecution side is represented by Miss Mildred Greens while from the defense counsel side represented by Mr Craig Brown. The trial begins:
Attorney Craig Brown stood and walked up to the judge, where the curious crowd behind him could also listen in.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: My client was seen holding a knife over the dead body of Jason Kalango. (He paused to look at the lady who has been accused, then continued,) although she is innocent.
N: The crowd behind him gasped.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Until proven guilty.
N: Craig continued with one finger higher in the air.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Ms Greens should know better.
N: With full force he slammed his hands on the opposing attorney desk and went to sit down.
PART 2 PROSECUTOR’S CASE
ATTORNERY MILDRED: About around 8pm on October 25 2018, Miss Kate Moyo was detained and charged under section 302 of penal CODE. I would like to ask your permission to bring my first witness for this case.
JUDGE: Yes, you may.
ATTORNY MILDRED: Thank you, Your Honor
N: A tall black man walks at the stand.
INSPT: My name is Inspector Dave Gwaronda. I swear I will give the true clarification only.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: First of all Inspector Dave is representing the main witness of this case. Where was the accused at the incident?
INSPT: According to my clarification when I arrived at the scene, the defendant was the crime scene, where the deceased was at. She was holding the knife that she used to stab him with.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Inspector, please tell a little information about what happened before the deceased was killed.
INSP: According to the deceased’s wife, her husband left early for work that day. He had complained that there was a girl who was stalking him and it looks like she was obsessed with him since we found her nude pictures in his phone. On his way back from work, he had called his wife telling her that he was on his way home but just needed to buy some things for his 2 boys. Unfortunately he didn’t make it back at home, he was kidnapped and tortured by Miss Kate Moyo.
KATE: That is not true.
N: Kate cried.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: How did you found out that he had been murdered?
INSPT: We received a tip off from any anonymous saying that her neighbors were having a fight. When we arrived at the location, the deceased was groveled in the pool of blood, beside the deceased body, there were her foot prints and she was holding a knife stained with his blood.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Your Honor, this proves that the accused is the main suspect for this case; therefore, I have no question to ask. Thank you.
JUDGE: Defense counsel, do you have questioned to ask?
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Absolutely, Your Honor.
His wife said that Miss Kate had been stalking her husband. My question is, why was her apartment registered in his name or maybe she had threatened him.
INSPT: I didn’t know that….
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Of cause detective you don’t know about his name being on that apartment that he was found dead and registered in his name. You said you saw her nude pictures. She is an innocent girl who was blindly in love. Obviously she had sent those pictures to please her man. I mean during your dating days, I am sure you asked one of your girlfriends to send you some nude pictures because you were horny and hard right there.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Objection my Lord.
JUDGE: Sustained. Defense Counsel, stick to your question,
ATORNEY CRAIG: My apology, your honor. This is just an assumption made by the deceased’s wife. She knew perfectly well that her husband was a cheater. Kate was not the first mistress that he had but he happened to have fallen in love with her. The wife became jealous and might have been the one who killed her own husband out of humiliation.
N: All eyes on Rita who remained seated like a statue, not showing any emotion or whatsoever.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: There are many possibilities that the deceased might have found about the affair. She might have asked someone to follow her husband. When she drove herself to the address, maybe she found the two in a compromising position making out. She might have gone mad and stabbed her own husband, hitting Kate on the head, making her pass out and framed her. She might have phoned the police because there was no one around the time Jason was killed. That’s all from me, Your Honor.
N: Craig went to sit down with a big smile spread across his face. He had a good feeling that he was heading at the right decision.
JUDGE: Public Prosecutor, are you ready for cross-examination?
ATTORNEY MILDRED: No, allow me to call the second witness, Dr Chipo Sibanda.
JUDGE: yes, you may.
DR CHIPO: I am Doctor Chipo Sibanda, psychiatrist at Bulawayo Mental Hospital swear to tell the truth.
ATORNEY MILDRED: Doctor, what is your relationship with the accused?
DR: Straight after the incident, I was given a responsibility to examine the accused health.
ATTORNY MILDRED: Doctor, what kind of examination that has been conducted?
DR: I have done the mental examination against the accused pertaining frequent interview, lab examination and also held the accused’s the behavior examination. Besides that, I also held the interview with the deceased’s family and acquaintances.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: What is your finding doctor?
DR: At the first, we found that the accused have a normal behavior like the others.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: So, can I assume that the accused have done the murder without any influences or any health problem from mental or physical aspect.
DR: At the first examination, the accused did not have any health problem, but after re-examination we have found that the accused has delusional disorder, jealous type. In my point of view, the accused are insane during the incident.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Objection my Lord.
The doctor is lying.
N: Attorney Mildred smiled.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: After re-examination doctor found the accused have a mental problem? Is it possible if I say that the disease that the accused have is very rare. Is it true doctor?
DR: Yes. Usually the symptom for this type of delusion is very rare to its sufferer.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: So, in my opinion, during the incident, the accused was sane and had the element to kill. That is all your honor.
JUDGE: Defense counsel, do you have any question?
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Yes, Your Honor. Doctor, according to the examination, did the accused have any mental problem?
DR: Yes, it’s true. The accused have mental problem.
N: Craig smiled and strode over closer to the stand.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Doctor you know that you are lying right?
DR: No I am not.
N: He quickly defended.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Doctor, can I say that this disease is rare but have the probability to happen?
DR: Yes. Its true. This disease is rarely to occur but it has possibility to happen. Based on the examination, the accused do this murder after hearing a voice telling her that Jason was cheating on her knowing very well that he was never hers. After push by that voice, he killed him.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: You mean his wife heard the voice telling her that Miss Kate was sleeping with her husband and that she should kill him?
DR: Yes, I mean it was Kate who killed Jason not Miss Rita.
N: He corrected.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: No further questions your honor.
JUDGE: Court adjourned for tomorrow.
BAILIFF: All rise.
N: They all waited for the Judge to go out first followed by the juries.
Kate kept pacing up and down in the room.
‘Take a seat sis,’ said Karen, ‘I can feel remember.’
‘The doctor lied Karen. I wouldn’t blame the detective because he was just doing his job but the doctor lied. Rita might have promised to give her something; I swear that woman will always win.’
‘We will not let her win. I promise,’ said Craig.
‘Great job you did out there man,’ said Miguel.
‘Yes and I am sorry I didn’t thank you. You really know what you are doing. I really appreciate,’ said Kate.
‘Now we will have to wait for tomorrow,’ sighed Craig.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Miss Karen Moyo, what is your relationship with the defendant?
KAREN: She is my sister.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Can you tell us in brief what kind of a person your sister is?
KAREN: When we lost our parents, Kate was always there for me. She is the best thing that ever happened to me. She made sure that I was always taken care of by granny who passed away in a fire accident. Kate is my inspiration and I have always looked up to her. When I heard that she had been arrested for murder, I swear my heart was broken in little pieces. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to see her again and she wasn’t going to sing for me whenever I wasn’t feeling well.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Do you think that your sister is guilty?
KAREN: I am 101% that she is innocent and that she was framed. She would have never killed that man but someone else in this room did.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: What do you mean by that?
KAREN: Kate was so deeply in love with Jason and I had met him. He must have lied that he had a wife and kids but they never fought with my sister. My sister wasn’t obsessed with him but the two were in love already. What kind of a person in her rightful state of mind kills the person that she loves unless that person is mentally sick. My sister wasn’t that kind of a woman. She dedicated her whole life to God and I can only say that she was a church girl. She didn’t kill Jason and she is not guilty.
N: Kate wiped away the tears that had escaped. Her little sister believed in her and that all that matters to her, her sister’s love and knowing that she trusted her. On the other side Rita clenched her fists and only wished she had killed Karen when she had the chance to.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: How often did Jason visit your house?
KAREN: I have lost count but Kate had already introduced him to grandma. We once had dinner with him. He sounded extremely happy with my sister. We made him feel at home every time he visited.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Did they ever fight in your presence?
KAREN: The only fight that they had is when Jason tried to handshake me forgetting that I was blind.
N: Some of the people laughed including the Judge who smiled.
KAREN: Kate can be so overprotective sometimes. He scolded the poor man until he was made to say sorry to me 100 times. I didn’t lose that count, that’s the only fight they had. But..
ATTORNEY CRAIG: But what?
KAREN: I don’t know if I should say this but I heard him shouting on the phone one day when he took me out for an ice cream. He was having a fight with his wife Rita.
ATTORNEY: No more further questions, Your Honor.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Miss Karen, how are you doing?
N: She cat walked at the front getting closer where Karen sat.
KAREN: I am okay and you.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: I am okay. I have got a quick question for you. You saying that you heard Jason fighting over the phone with his wife. How did you know that the person he was fighting with was his wife?
KAREN: I am blind but not deaf.
N: The crowd laughed.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: I see you love making jokes.
KAREN: But this wasn’t a joke. I heard him shouting out her name and by that time I didn’t know that it was his wife.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Did you tell your sister about the fight?
KAREN: I am not a gossiper.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: But she is your sister. I am sure you two don’t hide secrets from each other.
KAREN: If Jason had something to tell my sister, he should have. Yes, she is my sister but sometimes I choose to mind my own business. What if at that time Rita was just a relative or client?
Then I would have made my sister not to trust me again. What’s your next question?
N: Attorney Mildred took a deep breath and stared at her. Karen was tough and quiet a challenge. She had nothing to ask her. She responded very well and that put her in a corner. She felt lowered by her.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: No further questions your honor.
N: Karen smiled to Mildred’s surprise.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Sorry your honor. Just one more question.
N: She was up for a challenge.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: You said that your sister never fought with Jason and she is not mentally ill. What if it was just pretency and you didn’t know your sister? What if Jason was actually miserable with her?
N: Karen smiled, she thought the last question would be hard but it was easy.
KAREN: You know you just asked something that caught my attention? Yesterday I remember you saying that my sister was obsessed with Jason. Few minutes ago you just said that, ‘what if Jason was miserable with her?’ Meaning you also believe that Kate was actually in love with Jason and it wasn’t an obsession.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: I am the one asking questions.
N: The judge raised his eyebrow looking at Attorney Mildred who had been caught up with a lie.
KAREN: If you asking questions don’t you think you should reply mine. My sister could never pretend. I grew up with her and yes I am blind but I can feel, touch and have got other senses. I know my sister more than anyone else in this room. Whenever she came home and would forget to take me to bed, then she had a hectic day. If she didn’t come to say; good morning to me then that simple means, she had to wake up early to the library. If there was something bothering her, she talked less and just say, ‘you worry too much kiddo.’ I might not have been able to see her face when she was sad but I could feel it. She is and never was a pretender. Any plus question?
N: Attorney Mildred rolled her eyes and went to sit down. The judge smiled at Karen’s intelligence.
JUDGE: The court will resume after 1 hour.
BAILIFF: All rise.
OUTSIDE THE COURT ROOM
‘What the hell was that?’ shouted Rita after yanking the door open.
‘What?!’ she imitated, ‘I am referring to you having a fight with that kid. Was that personal? I know it must be so hard to fight with your ex-fiancee.’
‘I know that Craig is your ex-fiancee and that you jealous because he is dating that blind girl but let me tell you something,’ she paused, ‘I paid you millions of dollars to make sure that slut stays in jail. If you mess things up for me, I will make sure no one will ever hire you. Pull up your socks and stop taking things personal. I will destroy you Mildred Greens. See you in half an hour. I have to talk to my dead husband’s sister,’ with that said she walked out of the room.
Mildred banged her fist on the table. It wasn’t at all easy to be in that court room with his ex-fiancee. It was business but Craig was only her junior when they were at Harvard. He was good at what he was doing, she was proud of him but again she didn’t want to lose this court case or her law career will be over.
‘Okay, can you be gently please,’ said Karen to her sister.
‘I am so proud of you Karen. The way you stood up for me in that room. I don’t know what to say, I was touched.’
‘You can be a drama queen sometimes.’
They laughed at her sense of humor.
‘I was happy with the way you took things babe. Very calm,’ said Craig.
‘That bitch was taking things personal. I think she still have got feelings for you,’ said Karen sitting down.
‘The only woman that I am in love with now is you and I won’t let her come between us. At least things are looking fine for now. I love you,’ said Craig kissing her on the forehead.
‘I love you too.’
The two looked adorable.
BACK IN THE COURT
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Can I just call you by your second name warden?
ATTORNY CRAIG: You were once a warden at Chikurubi maximum prison. Isn’t that right?
WARDEN: Yes, I was.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Then you know Miss Kate. Tell me how she behaved while in prison?
WARDEN: Unlike other prisoners who were wrongly accused and still behaved like animals. She was just different from them. Being the youngest one in that prison, some of them mistreated her. For example she was once poisoned while still pregnant but her cellmate ate the food and ended up in prison. We couldn’t find the culprit that had tried to harm her. She was good with everyone and never for once was she involved in a fight. She couldn’t even hurt a fly.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Did she ever tell you what had happened to her?
WARDEN: One day she broke down in my office and told me that she was framed. She wasn’t the one who killed Jason. She told me that she was in love with him and wouldn’t have hurt him.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Did she tell you the name of the person that might have killed Jason.
WARDEN: No, she didn’t tell me.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: no further questions, Your Honor.
N: The ex-warden had agreed to be one of the witnesses although she hardly knew Kate but the time she spent with her in prison, she knew that she was a good person. Attorney Mildred strove over to the stand with her head up high. She was ready for the competition and to up her game. She cleared her throat and looked at Miguel who was sitting holding Kate’s daughter. Cathy was at home with Bambie.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Lisa, what’s your relationship with the defendant.
WARDEN: She is my former prisoner.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Not the answer I was expecting since your son is holding your grandchild. I mean Kate’s child. Is it true that you resigned just after Kate escaped in prison? Maybe you were her accomplice.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: objection my Lord.
WARDEN: I was never her accomplice and Kate wasn’t a fugitive, she was kidnapped by Pancake.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: But you let your son keep her in his house knowing very well that she was a danger to society.
WARDEN: She was in need of a medical attention. I wasn’t going to abandon her or let my son do the same.
ATTORNY MILDRED: If it wasn’t for the maid, where you ever going to apprehend Kate to the authority.
N: The warden couldn’t respond knowing very well that it was going to be hard for her to hand her to the police. Her son was in love with her.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: I didn’t think so. Warden you know the law and still let your son keep a fugitive in his house. Was it because he was in love with her? There was never going to be a happily ever after. Kate was the most wanted criminal in the country. You failed to do your job as a warden and it is your fault that some of those innocent women died in that prison. No further questions your honor.