The Lusaka High Court has sentenced two former Zambia Army officers to death by hanging after convicting the duo of murdering two Finance
Bank employees and stealing more than K900 million in Kaoma in 2009.
Kabwe based High Court judge Eddie Sikazwe convicted the two former staff sergeants Festus Shandulu and Namushi Ngundamai based at Luena
Barracks and sentenced the duo to hanging until pronounced dead for killing Chisala Chishimba, a driver and Chrispin Mushele, a bank
The duo also got away with K958, 550, 000 from John Kaunda an employee of Finance Bank.
The Zambian Constitution under Part III on the Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedom of the Individual allows for the death
Article 12 in this section, dealing with the protection of the right to life, clause (1) states that: “No person shall be deprived of his
life intentionally except in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under the law in force in Zambia of
which he has been convicted”.
The Justice Annel Silungwe Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambian Constitution has equally upheld the death penalty but, as a Christian nation, Zambia has in the past 15 years not witnessed the actual hanging of convicts since 1997, when the last executions took place.
Then, former president Frederick Chiluba authorized the hanging of eight prisoners, the only executions he assented to during his ten
years in office.
The current position of the law gives Zambian judges the powers to convict such criminals to death by hanging as has been done by Mr
Justice Sikazwe although some sectors of society feel Zambia should abolish the death penalty.
Delivering his judgment in Lusaka recently, Mr Justice Sikazwe noted “there is no other punishment for aggravated robbery with a weapon
according to the laws of Zambia and also being on account that two people were shot dead at the scene of the accident; I have no other
option rather than sentence to death the two convicts until they are pronounced dead”.
Mr Mushele and Mr Chishimba were killed at Namusheshe area on their way from Mongu to collect money meant for Government workers’ salaries
It was alleged that Shandulu and Ngundamai who were charged with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated robbery contrary to the
laws of Zambia, while armed with an AK 47 rifle, shot dead the duo while they were still strapped in the vehicle seats.
Mr Justice Sikazwe said “ I have no doubt ‘this type of robbery’ was organized by a band expert armed robber as could be seen from the way
the murder and aggravated robbery was committed. Mr Chishimba and Mr Mushele were shot dead in cold blood and whoever killed them must have
known that such act would cause death or grievous bodily harm”.
He said that the guns which the convicts used were within the meaning of the firearms Act Cap 110 because they were lethal barreled weapons
from which shots were discharged.
Mr Justice Sikazwe noted that the witnesses brought by the prosecution were true and reliable and such the prosecution proved the offences
against Shandulu and Ngundamai.
He said that it was not in question that the money that was found in a different situation could have been part of the money robbed from the
cash in transit van to Kaoma.
“The AK47 rifle GC 1674 and 30 live ammunition which were recovered in the bush where Shandulu led a team of police officers was part of the
guns used to shot the occupants of the cash in transit van’ said Mr Justice Sikazwe.
Mr Justice Sikazwe said that there was overwhelming evidence that the armed men who robbed the cash in transit vehicle were the same ones
who murdered Mr Chishimba and Mushele.