Friday, August 21, 2009

Chipata MMD cadre gets 24 months for manslaughter

Chipata MMD cadre gets 24 months for manslaughter
Written by Christopher Miti in Chipata
Friday, August 21, 2009 4:57:09 PM

THE Chipata High Court on Wednesday sentenced Luangeni Constituency MMD youth vice-chairperson Allan Tonga to 24 months simple imprisonment for manslaughter.
And a 31-year-old man of Chipata district has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for defiling a 13-year-old girl.

This is a matter that was brought before Lusaka judge Phillip Musonda for sentencing. Judge Musonda reduced the charge from murder to manslaughter.

Facts of the case are that Tonga on October 29 last year at about 16 hours was aboard a Canter registration number ABG 7344 en route to Jerusalem. The facts stated that at Masiwa village, the deceased, Chindao Msoni and other people jumped onto the vehicle, after which a quarrel ensued when the deceased shouted a PF slogan.

According to the records, Tonga then pushed the deceased who fell onto the ground and sustained serious injuries that led to his death at Mwami Adventist Hospital the following day.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Stembridge Chirambo said the accused was a first offender who readily accepted the charge.

He said the deceased was drunk and that he shouted the PF slogan instead of the MMD as they were campaigning during last year’s presidential election.

“My lord, the convict here-in is very remorseful for causing the death of Msoni. He has 13 children with the youngest being seven months old and his wife died when he was remanded at Namuseche Prison. His father died and his mother is very old. He is HIV positive and he is on ARVs and if he is sent to jail, his family would suffer miserably. It is for this reason that he is appealing for maximum lenience when passing the sentence,” said Chirambo.

And in passing judgment, judge Musonda said he considered that the offence happened out of political hooliganism.

He said the mitigation by the defence lawyer had saved Tonga from being sentenced to 10 years but instead he would give him a short sharp sentence.

Judge Musonda said the deceased contributed significantly as he inflamed the anger of his political opponents.

“Those in politics should think of their families before doing anything. Zambia is a democratic country where everyone is free to belong to any political party of choice. It doesn’t mean that because one belongs to another party then he deserves to die,” judge Musonda said.

The 24-month simple imprisonment is with effect from the time Tonga was arrested.

And before Lusaka judge Phillip Musonda was Godfrey Banda of Gondar Barracks who was committed to the High Court for sentencing by the Chipata subordinate court for defiling a young girl.

Judge Musonda said he entirely read the record of the case and that the evidence that led to Banda’s conviction was overwhelming.

Facts of the case were that Banda, a houseboy, defiled a minor on November 30, 2008.

In passing judgment, judge Musonda advised Banda to avoid defiling young girls.

“What you have to understand is that once you sleep with such a girl you psychologically destroy that girl, she may end up hating men for the rest of her life so it’s important for you if you want to avoid going to prison to avoid going for young girls. You can go for old women, you can be attractive to them so long you work hard. You can marry two or three women,” judge Musonda said.

In mitigation, Legal Aid counsel Nzovwa Chomba said Banda deserved lenience from the court because he was a first offender.

In the same court, judge Musonda sentenced Clement Mwampatisha to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour for indecent assault on a female.

The sentence is with effect from February 17, the date when he was arrested.

And judge Musonda sentenced Amisi Phiri to five years imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in psychotropic substances.

In mitigation, Phiri said the drugs that he was found with were being used as medicine for his young children.

Phiri said his wife left the medicine before she died.

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