Court News

Killing over land earns man death sentence

A 29- YEAR-OLD man of Mbala has been sentenced to death by the Kasama High Court for killing his neighbour using a home-made gun after the two differed over a piece of land.
Ndola High Court judge Petronella Ngulube, sitting in Kasama recently, convicted Humphrey Sinkonde of Musamba village in Mbala for the murder of Winford Matafwali.
He had pleaded not guilty.
In delivering judgment, Ms Ngulube noted there were no extenuating circumstances in relation to the matter but murder was premeditated as the accused went to Matafwali’s house with a gun.
“I do not find any extenuating circumstances in this matter. I realise that the accused went to the deceased’s house with the gun with intentions to cause grievous bodily harm or to kill him, which he did. The murder was therefore premeditated and it was an act of pure evil,” she said.
“I, therefore, direct that the accused be hanged by the neck until he is pronounced dead.”
Particulars of the offence are that on October 27, 2012, Sinkonde murdered Matafwali.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Keith Katazo pleaded with the court to exercise leniency on Sinkonde as he was a family man and was remorseful of his actions.
Mwenya Nayame, 42, late Matafwali’s wife, testified before court during trial that she heard voices of people talking behind their house on the material day around 18.00 hours and later a gunshot.
And when she rushed outside, she saw her husband, who had been sitting in front of the house, lying on the ground and Sinkonde holding a gun in a firing position.
Ms Nayame told the court that one of her children, who was with her father at the time of the incident, screamed that her father had been shot.
She further testified that one of the men in the company of Sinkonde suggested that he shoots her as well but the other two men disagreed.
In defence, Sinkonde denied having murdered Mr Matafwali saying that Ms Nayame had vowed to revenge on him because he had married her former sister-in-law.

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