The trial of four men accused of causing the death of 11 children at Lake Chivero failed to continue yesterday after defence lawyers claimed autopsy reports were compiled by unregistered pathologists.
The lawyers objected to an application by the State to have the reports produced as exhibits. The autopsy reports were compiled by Dr George Frank.
Ordinarily the defence would not have objected to the production of the reports, but the information we have is that this man is not a qualified and registered pathologist, said Yaqub Ali Jogee, a lawyer representing one of the accused Joseph Abraham.
He has to come to court and explain who he is and what he does. Prosecutor Michael Reza then said: I have made efforts to get in touch with the doctor who conducted the autopsy, Dr George Frank, without success and I have informed my colleagues of the predicament. The trial will continue on Thursday next week when Dr Frank is expected to testify.
Two weeks ago, chief surveyor of vessels and examiner of certificate of competence in the Ministry of Transport, Lameck Chitenga attributed the boat cruise disaster to incompetence by Enock Zulu, who was the captain on the day in question.
Chitenga said the boat known by many at Chivero as Chasura 1 was not registered in accordance with the Inland Water Shipping Act. Chitenga further said had the children been provided with life jackets, most of them would have survived the tragedy.
Abrahams is being charged alongside Hamios Mukonoweshuros clients, Latif Aneer and Fadil Ramon, while Zulu is self-represented. Besides Chitenga, three survivors have also testified in the matter.