Zambia: Man Caged 10 Years for Stabbing Friend

THE Kabwe High Court has sentenced a 28-year-old peasant farmer to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for stabbing his friend with a screw driver over a piece of meat popularly known as 'muchopo.'

Humphrey Nyirenda was sent to jail for killing Levison Shamabase on December 25, 2008 whom he had stabbed in the chest and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Liteta Hospital in Chibombo.

In passing judgment, Ms Justice Elita Mwikisa said she was sending Nyirenda to jail to enable him reflect and that the sentence is also aimed at sending a warning to would-be offenders who are in a habit of drinking recklessly.

Ms Justice Mwikisa said people should exercise restraint and avoid engaging themselves in fights especially after consuming alcohol.

"I am sending you to prison not to punish you but to make you realise that fighting does not pay. It is my hope that by the time you come out you will be a better person who would positively contribute to the country's development," she said.

The court said the State proved its case after calling its witnesses among them Steven Kabungo who testified that on the fateful day, he went for a drink at Chitanda turn off.While there, Mr Shamabanse, ate a piece of meat, a situation which angered Nyirenda.

A fight ensued and in the process, Nyirenda stabbed Mr Shamabanse in the chest using a screw driver.

He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Humphrey Mweemba pleaded for leniency, saying Nyirenda was drunk at the time he committed the offence and that he has regretted his action.

But Ms Justice Mwikisa said beer drinking was not an excuse to commit such a crime.

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