ZERO TOLERANCE TO VIOLENCE IN PF AS CADRE IS JAILED FOR SLAPPING LUBINDA
THE Lusaka Magistrates Court has described as barbaric the beating of justice minister Given Lubinda and sentenced a PF cadre to two years imprisonment for the crime.
Chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale jailed 38-year-old Martin Mambwe who is also a driver of Kalingalinga Township.
Mambwe was accused of assaulting Lubinda on July 12,2019 and occasioned him actual bodily harm.
When the matter came up for judgement magistrate Mwale said t hat the state had proven the case of assault against Mambwe beyond reasonable doubt and convicted him for the same.
According to his findings magistrate Mwale said it was a fact that Lubinda was at Kabwata Market on the day he was assaulted performing his duties as member of parliament and that it was a fact that he was slapped at the said place as confirmed by the witnesses and the medical report that was issued to him.
The magistrate said he was satisfied that Mambwe was at Kabwata market andt slapped Lubinda contrary to his claim that he was not at the said premises.
Magistrate Mwale ruled out the possibility of mistaken identity because Mambwe was identified by Lubinda and his special assistant during the fracas and the identification parade.
He said the eight who testified in the matter could not only single out Mambwe as Lubinda’s assailant when there were many people to point at, as such he could not accept the defense by the convict that he was recovering from Tuberculosis on the date of the incident because it was an afterthought.
Magistrate Mwale said no medical report was adduced before court as proof that Mambwe was recovering from TB when Lubinda was slapped and that the defense launched by the convict was a deliberate ploy clearly meant to absolve himself from the offence charged.
“I have no reason to doubt that the accused committed the offense he is charged with, I find that the prosecution has proven the charge beyond reasonable doubt and I find the accused guilty of the offence as charged and convict him accordingly,” Magistrate Mwale said.
And in mitigation Mambwe’s lawyer Agrippa Malando said the convict was at the court’s mercy and prayed that it exercises its discretion and have leniency on the him as he was a family man with four children who look up to him and sending him to prison would aggravate the situation.
Malando asked the court to consider giving Mambwe a non custodial sentence in meting out punishment to avoid congesting prisons as the latter had learnt hi lesson.
But in his judgement magistrate Mwale noted with regret the high prevalence of politically charged violence and intolerance, adding that the convict’s physical attack on Lubinda is not only retrogressive but barbaric and unAfrican.
“I will be failing in my duties if I allow such kind of violence to go unabeited especially violence on an elected representative of the people occasioned during the performance of his parliamentary functions. I find this to be aggravating circumstances,” magistrate Mwale said.
“In order to deter would be offenders it is the firm view of this court that the convict deserves a custodial sentence. I therefore sentence the convict to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour effective today, leave to appeal the judgement is granted.”