’Uphold Ex-Minister’s Sentence’

STATE prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to uphold the nine-month sentence slapped on former Health Deputy minister Solomon Musonda for the charge of causing bodily harm with intent to maim, disfigure or disable a Serenje man.

This is in a case in which the former Health deputy minister challenged the nine-months sentence and conviction slapped on him by the Kabwe High Court.

Musonda has appealed against the sentence but the State has argued that the nine-months sentence was adequate and asked the court to dismiss the appeal.

Particulars of the offence are that on June 1, 2010 in Serenje District of the Central Province, with intent to maim, disfigure or disable, Musonda caused some grievous harm to Jackson Musaka.

The appellant was found with a case to answer and put on defence and in his defence, he told the court that he feared for his life when a group of youths blocked the road with branches and threatened to kill him.

He told the court that over 30 youths led by Emmanuel Chabala blocked the road with branches and demanded to be given money to be used for road works.

The court, however, convicted him and sentenced him to nine months imprisonment.

But the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court on grounds that the lower court erred in law and fact when it convicted him without making an assessment on what exactly happened.

His lawyers asked the court to quash the sentence and maintained that the shooting was accidental and that the appellant had no intention to injure any person but was aiming at scaring them away.

Supreme Court Judge Gregory Phiri sitting with other judges in Kabwe said the State should respond to the ground of argument by Wednesday next week.

In the same court, State prosecutors in a case in which a 63-year-old business executive is challenging his 53-year jail term for defiling two girls and indecently assaulting another, have asked the court to instead increase the jail term.

National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Senior State Aocate Monica Mwansa submitted to Justice Gregory Phiri, sitting in Kabwe with other Supreme Court judges that the three girls will never recover from what happened to them.

This is in a case in which Christic Kombe of Kapiri Mposhi who was convicted for two counts of defilement and one count of indecent assault has appealed against the judgment.

The appellant is alleged to have defiled two girls aged 12 and 13 and indecently assaulted a seven-year-old in February 2012.

During the trial, the two girls narrated separately how they were defiled by the convict at his shop after sending them to buy alcohol and warned them that if they told anyone about the incident, they would die at night.

In the first count, the Kabwe High Court sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour, 20 years in the second count and 15 years in the third count. The three sentences were to run consecutively.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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