THREE Lusaka-based police officers and a civilian have been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment each with hard labour for robbing a Tanzanian businesswoman of K75,000 at gunpoint.
Ndola High Court judge Petronella Ngulube convicted Justine Mwale, 61, a criminal investigations officer at Chawama Police Station, John Mwiinde, 45, Nicholas Nsokolo, 37, both based at Chawama Police Station and Robin Siwale, 55, of Kuku Township after she found them guilty of aggravated robbery.
“Three of the convicts are police officers, who planned the robbery tactfully,” Justice Ngulube said in her verdict on Friday.
Particulars of the offence are that on February 28, 2009 at Kapiri Mposhi, the four, armed with an AK47 rifle, stole K75,000 cash from Edina Mbilingi.
Facts before the court were that Siwale received information from an informer in Nakonde that Ms Mbilingi was travelling with a lot of money and arranged with the police officers to intercept her at Kapiri Mposhi.
During trial, Ms Mbilingi told the court that on February 27, 2009, she was in Nakonde with her friend and they boarded a bus to go to Kitwe to conduct business.
Ms Mbilingi said she had K75,000 cash in a Shoprite plastic bag and the bus left Nakonde at around 15:00 hours.
She said when the bus reached the Kapiri Mposhi checkpoint around 02:00 hours, she was sleeping when she heard voices telling the bus driver to stop the bus.
“I saw two police officers in uniform and armed while another one in plain clothes came into the bus,” Ms Mbilinji said.
She said the police officers asked her to declare her goods but she told the officers she had nothing to declare.
They got her bag and took it to a parked unregistered car.
She said she followed them to get back the bag but the officers forced her into the car and started off for Lusaka but they were intercepted by other police officers who took them to the police station.
And Chawama police officer-in-charge Christopher Kafula, said Mwale facilitated for the two officers to travel to Kapiri Mposhi and issued them with a route instruction.
In defence, all the four denied the offence but stated that the woman had stolen the money from the fourth accused and the officers were merely on an assignment to arrest her.
Passing sentence, Justice Ngulube said there was a serious breach of trust as three of the accused are police officers who should protect people.
“It is sad to find law enforcers sinking so low to become robbers. Heaven help us,” Justice Ngulube said.
zambia daily mail