A 23 YEAR old taxi driver of Ndola’s Ndeke township has been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour by the Ndola High court for stabbing a woman with a screw driver after she booked his taxi.
Judge Charles Chanda has convicted Derrick Kunaka,of house number 0901,in Ndeke, of aggravated robbery contrary to section 294(1) of the laws of Zambia,on the basis that the evidence against by him the prosecution was overwhelming.
Kunaka is said to have, on May 1,this year, in Ndola, attacked Petronella Mulenga and stole money amounting to K2000 and personal belongings which were in her handbag.
Kunaka denied the charge.
“i have no doubt in my mind that the prosecution have proved their case against you to the requisite standard of beyond reasonable doubt.”Mr Justice Chanda said.
The defence asked the court to be lenient on Kunaka as he was a first offender and that a married man with two children.
But Mr Justice Chanda noted that Kunaka not only threatened to use violence but did use actual violence on Ms Mulenga and inflicted injuries on her.
” I take note of the circumstances pleaded on your behalf. But i wish to state that these circumstances should have been taken in to consideration before you engaged in criminal activities. However, i find that you inflicted injuries, using a screw driver, on an innocent woman.”
“It is not in dispute that Ms Mulenga was abducted and attacked by Kunaka as her earrings and neck chain were found in his car.I therefore, find accused guilty as charged and i accordingly convict him.I sentence you to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date you were arrested.You are informed of your right of appeal to the Supreme court within 14 days,”Mr Justice Chanda said.
The evidence before court was that on the material day at around 20.30 hours,Ms Mulenga booked Kunaka’s vehicle to take her to her home in Masala, but instead decided to drive to Bwana Mkubwa where he attacked her by way of stabbing her with a screw driver and stripped her of her personal belongings.
But Kunaka denied having attacked Ms Mulenga stating that the two were lovers and that they had gone to the bush in Bwana Mkubwa to have sex on the material night.
Kunaka told the court that Ms Mulenga only sustained injuries after he lost control of the vehicle which plunged in a ditch as she was caressing him whilst he was driving.
He further, told the court that she screamed because she feared her husband would question her on the injuries.
But Mr Justice Chanda dispelled Kunaka’s evidence saying it was concocted and an afterthought.