On August 17 this year, two people were arrested in Kasungu after being found with bush meat in a hut located 50 meters away from the main house in Lanjeni Banda’s compound.
A few days later, the police also arrested Lanjeni Banda.
He was charged with the offenses of being found in possession of specimen of endangered species, selling specimen of endangered species and receiving specimen of endangered species, all without a permit.
In court, Mr. Banda was represented by Legal Aid Bureau, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The state therefore paraded its witnesses to prove its case. It was however revealed that none of the paraded witnesses saw Mr. Banda in possession of the said bush meat or selling the meat to anyone.
Three of the state witnesses revealed that Mr Banda was not at home on the material day as he was at a funeral.
It was further revealed that Mr Banda’s servant, was the one living in the hut where his co-accused were found with the bush meat.
On 7 November 2022, the court found that the state had failed to prove the essential elements of the charges laid against legally aided Lanjeni Banda.
The court consequently found him with no case to answer and he was acquitted of all the charges.
“I am happy that justice has prevailed after Legal Aid Bureau came to my rescue. I’m now a free man,” said Mr. Banda after the ruling.
In the picture is Lanjeni Banda (in the blue checkered shirt) posing
with family and counsel from Legal Aid Bureau.