A 77 year old man has been fined K1,000 to be paid with immediate effect or in default face nine months imprisonment for unlawful possession of muzzle-loading guns.
Brief facts of the matter are that on 13th August 2023, 17 officers comprising Zambia police and Department of National Parks and Wildlife were mobilised to carry out a routine check of unlawful possessions of guns in Chadiza district in Eastern Province.
It was then disconnected that Mavuto Mbewe 77, a headman of Sinjani Village in Zingalume Chiefdom had 2 guns with one under his name whilst the other muzzle-loading gun was licenced under someone else’s name.
Arresting Officer, Ms Unice Mbewe from the Department of National Parks said they reached the Headman’s House on 13th August at around 24:00 and discovered two muzzle-loading guns that had no valid license and had not been renewed from 2010 and 2012 respectively.
Ms Mbewe says the muzzle-loading firearms have been phased out in Zambia and citizens had been informed and told to surrender them on amnesty to the Armories dotted around the country.
“The guns that were dark brown, light brown in colour are not valid and have no valid documentation despite having the blue books, the ownership of the other gun he had hidden in the clothes in his bedroom is also not bearing his name the reason we decided to arrest him,” she says.
The accused said he tried to validate his licence but was told by the police that those guns had been phased out adding that the licence could not be issued.
He also mentioned that he had been owning the muzzle-loading guns since 1995 when his uncle left them under his.
Mr Mbewe accepted the charge and showed remorse.
He asked for lenience from the court saying he was an old man and was caring for his wife who was confined to a heelchair and was hypertensive.
On 14 August, 2023, Mavuto Mbewe 77 was arrested for the offence of being in possession of fire arm unlawfully contrary to section 10 (1,2 a,b) of the Penal Code Chapter 110 of the laws of Zambia.
Magistrate Fred Musaka said Mr Mbewe committed an offence contrary to provisions of the Act.
Magistrate Musaka has expressed concern that offences of such nature are becoming high in the district a situation he said must be stopped hence the slapping him with a fine of 1,000- or 9-months imprisonment in default of payment.