By MUBANGA NONDO
A 39-YEAR-OLD security guard of New Kaloko township in Ndola has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour by the Ndola Magistrateâ€™s Court for assaulting his two creditors with an axe handle after they went to ask for the money he owed them.
Yasini Malekani of house number 2463 in New Kaloko pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault.
In the first count, it was alleged that on December 1, 2012 in Ndola, Malekani assaulted Joe Sikazwe while in the second count, the accused was on the same day alleged to have also assaulted Sitali Nyambe.
Magistrate Eston Kafunyi on Tuesday convicted Malekani after evidence brought before court by the prosecution team had all the necessary ingredients for the charges laid against the accused.
In delivering judgment, Mr Kafunyi noted that the accusedâ€™s conduct towards the complainants was very bad because it was wrong to threaten to kill people with an axe when he had borrowed money from them.
â€œI note that you are a first offender and I have also taken what you have said in mitigation into consideration. However, your conduct was not good. You borrow money and when the owners come to get it you threaten to kill them with an axe,â€ Mr Kafunyi observed.
â€œI sentence you to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour in each count, but the sentences are to run concurrently. And because you have been on bail, your sentence begins to run today (August 26),â€Mr Kafunyi said.
He granted accused leave to appeal to the High court within 14 days if he was not satisfied with the sentence.
In mitigation, Malekani asked the court not to send him to jail as he was a father of six and that his children would have no one to look up to.
During trial, the court heard that the two complainants in the matter had gone to Malekaniâ€™s work place to ask for money and when they got there, the accused asked them to wait for him in the guardroom as he would return a little later.
Upon his return, he came with an axe with a view to axe both complainants but they wrestled with him but were both hit and injured by the axe handle.
Mr Kafunyi noted that it was not in dispute that the complainants suffered injuries inflicted on them by the accused but that what was in dispute was what Malekani submitted that the Mr Sikazwe and Mr Nyambe were trespassers with intentions to steal.
â€œThe question of wanting to steal property falls out as the incident happened during day time and if at all the complainants were thieves, the accused would have asked for help from the other people that were present at the time of the incident.
â€œThe evidence from the prosecution that the complainants had gone to get money from the accused stands, and my findings are that the accused got incensed because of this. I therefore find the accused guilty of the charge and I accordingly convict him,â€ Mr Kafunyi said.
The accused opted to remain quiet in defence and elected to call no witness.
By MUBANGA NONDO