The Mzuzu Chief Resident Magistrate court on Wednesday ruled that Hope Chipwatali, a clinician at Mzuzu Central Hospital arrested on suspicion that he raped a patient, has a case to answer.
Chief Resident Magistrate Joseph Chigona has since adjourned the matter to Monday next week during which Chipwatali is expected to enter defence through his lawyer Christon Ghambi.
Police arrested Chipwatali on January 21 on allegations that he raped a 35-year-old patient with a mental disability whom he was handling in the
consultation room in the emergency department on January 20.
He denied a charge of rape. Mzuzu police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said the offence attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Following an application by lawyer Ghambi, Chipwatali was granted bail whose conditions included that he stays away from the premises of Mzuzu Central Hospital. The court ordered that he can only do so when he is "very sick."
The ruling follows the summing up of evidence by the state who, in the course of the trial, paraded a number of witnesses including those from Mzuzu Central Hospital and the police.
Chipwatali, 36, was booked on arrest as from Chimbiya Village, Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza.