Death sentence for 3 criminals upheld

Criminal court
Criminal court

THE Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence slapped on three Monze criminals who attacked and robbed a business executive and his family of more than K38,000 cash and household goods.
Emmanuel Mayunda, Andrew Gondwe and Amos Talubinga, while armed with knives, a gun and other sharp objects attacked Justine Mwiinga and his family and got away with cash and other household items on June 11, 2010.
The convicts during the robbery dragged Mr Mwiinga, his wife Elizabeth and nephew Thomas into one of the bedrooms where they pushed them under the bed.
Mayunda, and Talubinga locked the house and went away with the keys.
Gondwe who was a tenant on the other property belonging to Mr Mwiinga, 10 minutes after the robbery was staged, took back the keys to Mr Mwiinga’s house and lied that he had picked them along the streets in the night.
But a panel of three Supreme Court judges comprising of Gregory Phiri, Munalula Lisimba and Munyinda Wanki, wondered how anyone would find the keys which the robbers had stolen from a dusty gravel road in the night and know that they belonged to a specific house in Monze.
Gondwe was not seen participating in the robbery but he assisted his two friends to rob the family as he was seen peeping through the window moments before the family was attacked.
He had days before the robbery pestered Mr Mwiinga’s nephew, Thomas insisting on knowing when his uncle would travel to Lusaka.
Mr Mwiinga had testified how on the material day, around 19:00 hours, he saw a person peeping through the window of his house whom he recognised as Gondwe.
He later saw two other people entering his house and ordered him to take them to his bedroom and pushed him under his bed after searching him for money.
The robbers proceeded to demand for keys to the safe from his wife.
They took Ms Mwiinga to the bedroom and pushed her under the bed before they locked the house and ran away with the keys.
Mr Mwiinga and his family managed to break the door and reported the matter to the police.
However, on their way back, they saw one of the suspects whom they apprehended and took to the police.
His arrest led to the arrest of the other suspects.
The Lusaka High Court tried, convicted and sentenced the three to a mandatory death sentence but they appealed to the Supreme Court arguing that their sentence was based on circumstantial evidence.
Delivering judgment on behalf of two other judges yesterday, Mr Justice Phiri upheld the conviction and sentence slapped on each of the three and stated that the High Court could not be faulted for its findings.
Mr Justice Phiri said that the court did not see any evidence suggesting that police could have fabricated evidence against the three as there was direct incriminating evidence against them.
He dismissed the appeal and upheld both the conviction and sentence.

 Times of Zambia