UPND cadre jailed for threatening violence

CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone
A 37-YEAR-OLD United Party for National Development (UPND) cadre of Kazungula district in Southern Province has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour by the Livingstone Magistrate’s Court for threatening violence against Kazungula border immigration officer-in-charge Michael Banda on the eve of last year’s general elections.
Godwin Simangolwa of house number DSV 93, Dambwa site and service in Livingstone, was jailed on conviction of charges of threatening violence, contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Simangolwa on August 10, 2016 with intent to cause alarm, threatened Mr Banda with violence and ordered him to vacate his office, hand over a government vehicle and never set foot on the construction site of the Kazungula Bridge on account that he was disturbing the “UPND government” in power.
Simangolwa, who was employed as a driver by Daewoo Engineering and Construction, the contractor engaged to construct Kazungula Bridge before his dismissal, yesterday appeared before chief resident magistrate Willie Sinyangwe.
Delivering judgment, Mr Sinyangwe said the prosecution had proved its case against Simangolwa beyond reasonable doubt.
He said Simangolwa did not bring witnesses to court to defend him.
Mr Sinyangwe said Mr Banda was forced to relocate his family from Kazungula to Lusaka as a result of Simangolwa’s threats.
“There are grievance procedures in place, if the accused person felt that the complainant had done something wrong, the accused should have done so in the right manner than taking the law into his own hands,” he said.
Mr Sinyangwe said it was clear from the evidence that Simangolwa went to Mr Banda’s office to threaten him when the two were not in any way connected.
He said there was no justification for Simangolwa to threaten a government officer, and Mr Banda had the right to seek the court’s protection.
And in mitigation, Simangolwa told the court that he is his family’s breadwinner and he looks after his mother and his four children who are no longer going to school.
And passing the sentence, Mr Sinyangwe said the offence Simangolwa committed is serious and the court has a duty to protect the rights of government workers much as they are bound to err.
“Taking the law into your own hands is not an option because it will work against you. I, therefore, sentence you to two years imprisonment with hard labour and you have the right to appeal within 14 days,” he said.

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