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2 farmers escape hanging

SUPREME Court judge Muyinda Wanki has quashed a death sentence imposed on two peasant farmers of Mumbwa by the Kabwe High Court but has instead placed each on a 25 years sentence with hard labour.
Panwell Shambosha and Peacewell Zyumba were sentenced to death by the High Court in August last year after being convicted for murder of Joseph Shilala on October 3, 2011, who was allegedly caught stealing cattle.
The charge was reduced to manslaughter by the Supreme Court after it reviewed evidence of the trial court following the appeal against the death sentence.
According to the grounds of appeal filed by defence lawyers, they argued that the convicts were not associated with the death of Shilala as he had been in detention before he was taken to hospital where he later died.
Justice Wanki sitting in Ndola last Wednesday noted that although Shilala did not die in the hands of the convicts, his death was not natural as he died as a result of injuries inflicted on him by the convicts.
“I have gone through the grounds of appeal in the matter. The defence argued that their clients were not associated to the death of the deceased as he fell sick whilst in police custody.
I, however, note that his death was not a natural occurrence but that he died as a result of being beaten by the convicts. This court has therefore quashed the death sentence and replaced it with 25 years’ imprisonment with hard labour in respect of date of arrest,” Judge Wanki said.
Facts of the case were that the Shambosha and Zyumba beat Shilala after he was allegedly caught stealing cattle and died later at Nangoma mission hospital where he had been admitted.
The court also heard that the deceased died as a result of the injuries he sustained from the beatings.
Shambosha and Zyumba, on October 3, 2011, murdered Shilala.