Court News

Mitigation fails to save drug trafficker

A KITWE widower has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in marijuana.
Kitwe High Court judge Chilombo Phiri imposed the sentence on Benson Mulenga last Friday.
Mulenga was in October last year convicted of a similar offence, but repeated the offence five months later.
Mulenga was charged with trafficking in a narcotic drug.
Particulars of the offence are that Mulenga, on March 22, this year, in Kitwe, trafficked in 2.6kg of marijuana.
In mitigation through Legal Aid Board lawyer, Ignatius Chongwe, Mulenga said he was remorseful for committing the same offence a second time.
“He is a breadwinner and provider for his six children, including a three-year-old child who is the last born. And he also takes care of his aged mother,” Mr Chongwe said.
Further, the lawyer said Mulenga lost his wife recently and therefore begged the court to consider imposing the minimum statutory sentence for the offence in question.
In sentencing Mulenga, Mrs Justice Phiri noted that the plea of guilty the now convict made before the subordinate court was unequivocal and that she was satisfied with the conviction.
However,  Mrs Justice Phiri observed that the law provided for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for second offenders.
“In view of the above and the mitigation by counsel,  I hereby sentence the convict to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour. He is informed of his right to appeal to the Supreme Court, “she said.

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