Court
The Kitwe High Court has sentenced a man of Kalulushi to three years imprisonment with hardlabour for causing the death of a suspected thief.

High Court Judge Isaac Chali sent to jail James Kasongo 28, of house number 653 chibuluma Township after convicting him of causing the death of Leonard Lakapu who residents accused of being a thief.

Kasongo was earlier charged with murder which was reduced to manslaughter. He pleaded guilty to the charge.

In sentencing him, Mr Justice Chali said he had considered the mitigation submitted by Kasongo’s Lawyer that he was the first offender.

He also considered that the accused did not waste the court’s time as he admitted the charge and that he committed the offence in order to protect himself so that the suspected thief could not beat him.

“I will treat you as a first offender who in principle deserves to be judged with leniency. You are a young person, who should be given a chance to reform,

“I did not find anything aggravating in this matter, hence I sentence you to three years starting from day of your arrest,” said the Judge.

Facts before the court were that on April 14 last year, the accused person was at his farm in Kalulushi when he saw someone lighting a torch in his orchard of oranges around 19:00 hours.

The accused went close and confronted the intruder who happened to be Mr. Lakapu (deceased). The deceased ran way and the accused realised that he could be a thief because he bolted.

Kasongo gave chase until he caught him, he then pushed the deceased to the ground, hitting his head on a stone and became unconscious.

Upon realising that the deceased had died, Kasongo dragged the body of the deceased and threw it in a nearby dam, screamed for help and told people that the deceased had drowned.

The court heard that on April 18 last year, a postmortem examination was conducted at Kitwe Central Hospital (KCH) and the results indicated that the cause of the death was injuries and that no water was found in the lungs and stomach.

The accused was then apprehended and charged with one count for murder contrary to section 200 of the Penal Code 87, but the charge was reduced to a lesser charge of manslaughter contrary to section 199 of the Penal Code 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Thieves, gangsters, murderers liars and prostitutes constitute a valuable constituency in some govts in of certain parts of Africa. Therefore, such human outcasts are immune from prosecution. How then will men protect their vulnerable families when attacked by such class of people? We sympathise with the plight of James Kasongo.

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  2. I would do the same – kill him, because he can also kill me if I don’t; in addition to depriving me of my property. Kabwalala ngwakujaya, don’t spare him/her! Why do people steal to deprive others of peace and property?

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    • The court was in order to sentence him as such. Yes the deceased was indeed a thief, but he bolted and accursed’s life at that point was not in immediate danger. Had the thief stood his ground and armed, Kasongo would have walked to freedom. His actions to throw the body into the dam and allege drowning also did not help his plight!

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  3. He should have alerted the police after realizing that he had killed the thief. He was going to be a free man or could have received a suspended sentence because he had every right to defend his property.
    The problem he made was to fake the truth. Too bad for him.

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    • Where do you base your statement.. He killed him and throw his body into water to make it as if he drowned.. Where is his innocency???

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  4. Stop this Vigilante ok. We have done it too often and wasted lives. Time for prison time on those who use excess force even on offenders we have the government to met out justice.

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  5. The accuse shud have thrown the man in a dam and never shout for help, infact just go drinking, come home very drunk …no evidence

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