TWO men of Masaiti have each been sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour by the Ndola High Court for beating a man to death after they differed over beer at a bar.
Delivering judgment last Friday in the case of Malama Monkomba and Ernest Mbanza, both aged 24 of Luanshya, who were charged with manslaughter, Judge Yvonne Chembe said she would exercise leniency because it appeared that there was provocation since the trio had engaged in a fight before the deceased’s death.
Both Monkomba and Mbanza denied the charge.
Particulars of the offence alleged that on December 5, last year, in Masaiti, Monkomba and Mbanza unlawfully caused the death of Charles Chikwanda.
“I have considered the evidence of both the prosecution and the defence, and looking at the facts before me, am satisfied that the prosecution have proved their case against the accused beyond any reasonable doubt.
“I have, however, considered what the learned counsel has said in mitigation on behalf of the accused. But sight should not be lost of the fact that a life was lost needlessly. I therefore sentence each of the accused to five years imprisonment with hard labour effective December 7, 2014 when they were both arrested and taken into custody,” Justice Chembe said.
In mitigation, defence counsel Ethel Banda asked the court to exercise leniency on Monkomba and Mbanza as they were both first offenders and of youthful age, capable of reforming.
During trial, the court heard that the accused and Mr Chikwanda were at Mukolwe bar in Masaiti when they engaged in an exchange of words, which later culminated into a fight.
The court heard that Monkomba and Mbanza beat Mr Chikwanda after he hit one of them with a stone on the head. Thereafter the trio was separated by other patrons at the bar.
Mr Chikwanda then left for his home, but collapsed and died on the way.
The court heard that the deceased’s body was discovered on the road by passers-by the following morning.