Mukata intended to kill his security guard, insists State

Chilanga MP Keith Mukata at Lusaka's Magistrate Court -Picture by Tenson Mkhala

The State has submitted in the Court of Appeal that when former Chilanga UPND member of parliament Keith Mukata shot his security guard in the neck, he had intentions of killing the deceased hence his appeal should be dismissed and his sentence upheld.

The State has further submitted that there were no extenuating circumstances that could have caused Mukata to shoot at his security guard.

In February this year, Judge Susan Wanjelani sentenced Mukata to death by hanging for the murder of his security guard, but acquitted his co-accused and lover Charmaine Musonda on all counts.

In her judgment, Justice Wanjelani said she was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Mukata’s guard died from gun shots, which were discharged by him.

However, on Tuesday, defence lawyers asked the Court of Appeal to acquit Mukata of murder for lack of evidence linking him to the death of his security guard.

The lawyers who included; Mutemwa Mutemwa, Kasumpa Kabalata, Milner Katolo, Keith Mweemba and Wilis Muhanga submitted that High Court Judge Susan Wanjelani erred by admitting evidence, which was not on record, which led to the conviction of Mukata.

They submitted that there was no medical confirmation by the post-mortem report to prove whether in fact the deceased died as a result of the gunshot.

They submitted that the pathologist in his evidence did not touch on the cause of death, but only gave evidence on the size of the wound, adding that the judge erred in-law and fact when she convicted Mukata purely on circumstantial evidence, which had the potential to draw more than one inference.

But when the matter came up, Wednesday, in the Court of Appeal before a three member-panel led by justice Chalwe Mchenga, the prosecution team, led by deputy chief State Advocate Monica Mwansa, submitted that Mukata was properly connected to the offence and was not distanced at any stage from the murder scene.

They submitted that investigations had further revealed that the firearm, which was on the scene, belonged to Mukata.

The State submitted that the deceased had three gunshot wounds and it was not in dispute that he died from those wounds.

They added that the trial court had ruled that the evidence of two State witnesses had confirmed the evidence of Mukata when he said he had fired three gunshots.

“As such, the findings of the court matched the evidence on record. We submit that the appellant before you has been properly connected to the shooting of the deceased whose body was found at the scene. It is also our submission that the appellant had the gun, and after the shooting incident, he hid it under a plate in a basket,” they submitted.

The State further said Mukata knew what he was doing and he had intentions of killing the deceased, adding that the position of the bullet wounds, which were on the neck of the deceased, proved that.

They further submitted that in trying to help the deceased and in concealing the gun, Mukata wanted to conceal his guilty conscious.

The State submitted that there were no extenuating circumstances that could have caused Mukata to shoot at his security guard.

They urged the court to dismiss Mukata’s appeal and uphold both the conviction and sentence.

The matter has been adjourned to Friday for Mukata’s lawyers to make their defence.

         

Zondiwe Mbewe

About Zondiwe Mbewe

Zondiwe is a vibrant young Zambian journalist who has interest in writing political and current affairs on issues which affect every Zambians. She draws inspiration from journalists who stand for what is right and are not afraid to tell and show the truth to the people.
Email: zondiwe [at] diggers [dot] news

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