Court News

Man sentenced to death for aggravated robbery

KITWE High Court judge Dominic Sichinga has sentenced a man to death after finding him guilty of aggravated robbery.
Mr Justice Sichinga said the death penalty could not be avoided because section 294(2) prescribes a mandatory sentence of death where a firearm is used in an aggravated robbery.
“This court’s hands are tied. I accordingly sentence you to death. You shall be hanged until pronounced dead by a medical practitioner. May God have mercy on your soul,” Mr Justice Sichinga said after he passed the verdict.
This is in a case in which Kelvin Mitamba, was charged with and pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated robbery.
Particulars of the offence are that on November 18, last year, in Kitwe, whilst armed with a firearm, Mitamba allegedly robbed Cebel Nyirenda of two cell phones and a DVD player all valued at K2, 750.
During the robbery, Mitamba allegedly threatened to and or actually used violence and force against Nyirenda to obtain or retain the property in question.
Delivering judgment in the matter on Wednesday, Mr Justice Sichinga said he was satisfied that the state had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and that Mitamba was the assailant.
He dismissed Mitamba’s defence that he bought the items in question from a third party before proceeding to sell them to others.
“I accept the state’s submission that your testimony was calculated at misleading the court. I note that the prosecution witnesses were truthful and gave compelling accounts. You were armed with a firearm and I accept their evidence,” Mr Justice Sichinga said.
Principal Legal Aid Counsel Ignatius Chongwe said the defence could not submit anything in mitigation.
“We have followed the well-reasoned judgment of this court in particular the finding in respect of use of a firearm and in light of the prescribed penalty, we do not wish to submit. Suffice to say, he is a first offender,”Mr Chongwe said.

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