6 December 2012

Zambia: Court Upholds Killer Cop's Death Sentence

THE Supreme Court sitting in Ndola has upheld the death sentence on a police officer who shot a man during patrol.

Mr Justice Muyinda Wanki dismissed Victor Chimuka's appeal because it had no merit. He had appealed against conviction and sentence.

Chimuka was sentenced to death by a Lusaka High Court in 2008 for the murder of Steven Kawina on June 6, 2005 in Chibolya Township in Lusaka.

He was on patrol with other officers when he shot Mr Kawina who was in a group of three other people including his wife.

"He is a fully trained police officer with an experience in firearms who knew or should have known that shooting at point-blank range would cause the death of or do grievous harm to him," Mr Justice Wanki said.

The court ruled that the fact that Chimuka never reported the shooting incident to his superiors was also meant to hide that he had killed Mr Kawina.

In the same court, death sentences were upheld for two criminals who stormed Lukona Secondary School in Mongu and robbed Mr Mwakamui Muhau of a wall clock while armed with an AK47 rifle on September 23, 1999.

Mr Justice Gregory Phiri dismissed appeals by Muyunda Muziba and Litumbi Sitali on both conviction and sentence.

Meanwhile, the Kitwe High Court has sentenced a security guard to death for murdering his fellow guard and dumping his body in a well.

High Court Judge Catherine Makungu sentenced to death Steven Mwape, 26, of 164 Lubengele Township in Chililabombwe for killing Philemon Chola, aged 47, on May 14 this year.

Steward Chimbinga, a police officer, had testified that he investigated the matter and that under warn and caution, Mwape said he had quarrelled and fought with the deceased over 'Kachasu' beer.

Mr Chimbinga said Mwape was overpowered, picked a plank and hit the deceased.

In delivering judgment, Ms Justice Makungu said the prosecution evidence was more consistent than the accused's and noted that the body was found with bruises.

She noted that Mr Chola's body was found by his superiors and that the premises were not broken into on that night.

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