Robber jailed 15 yrs with hard labour

Police gun robber
Police gun robber

THE Kabwe High Court has sentenced a 42-year-old man who attacked and robbed a taxi driver of his motor vehicle to 15 years imprisonment with  hard labour.
This is a case in which Allan Silwamba was facing one count of aggravated robbery contrary to Section 294 (1) of the laws of Zambia.
Facts before the court were that on February 18, 2009, Silwamba attacked Chris Mahamba and robbed him of his Toyota Sprinter registration number ABR 2471, a charge which he denied.
During the trial, the State called eight witnesses, among them, Muhamba who testified before Kabwe High Court Judge Elita Mwikisa that on the fateful day, he had parked his motor vehicle at Chitanda where he was operating as a taxi driver when he was approached by a woman who said she wanted to hire a car to go to Kapiri Mposhi.
The witness told Ms Judge Mwikisa that he charged the woman K200 but before they could start off, he was approached by Silwamba whom the woman said she was with and they together started off for Kapiri Mposhi.
He said on their way, the woman asked him to pull over to enable them pick some people they were travelling with to Kapiri Mposhi and he remained in the car with Silwamba.
Silwamba later asked him to open the boot because the people the woman went to pick had luggage but Silwamba stabbed him in the back with a kitchen knife after opening the boot and started beating him.
Silwamba then told passersby that Mahamba was a thief and later put him in the boot and drove off, but after realising that the vehicle was moving, Muhamba opened the boot, squeezed through the back seat and got hold of the steering.
The two struggled for a few minutes, forcing the vehicle to hit into a pavement forcing it to overturn.
Mahamba now called for help from passersby afterwhich Silwamba ran away but was later apprehended and handed over to the police.
Another witness, Maybin Mukokela testified how he heard someone screaming that he had been attacked by a thief. He rushed to call his friend and the two came to the aid of Mahamba.
Arresting officer Chipasha Bwalya said Silwamba was an escapee from Kapiri Mposhi Police cells and recalled how once he received information from Solwezi Anti-Robbery Squad that they had in their custody Silwamba.
He said that Silwamba had been on the run from April 2009 and was only apprehended in July 2012 and was later brought to Kabwe where he was arrested for another offence.
In mitigation through his lawyer Mulilo Kabesha from Kabesha and Company, Silwamba asked for leniency, saying he had learnt a lesson and pledged to be a good citizen if given a chance.
In passing sentence, Justice Mwikisa said it was saddening that people were losing property through people who were forcibly grabbing motor vehicles instead of engaging themselves in meaningful activities.
She said she was sending him to prison to reflect and sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment and warned him against thinking of escaping considering that he was convicted for the offence by the  lower court.