Democratic Party aspiring candidate for Luena constituency in 2021 Likando Sakubita has been convicted of arson after he was found guilty of burning the carport of a man he suspected of having an affair with his wife.
This is a matter in which Sakubita was charged with one count of Arson after he burnt the carport belonging to Ian Musweu by way of throwing a petrol bomb over the fence.
Particulars of the offence are that on the morning of April 2, 2018, the accused drove to Musweu’s house and set his carport on fire following suspicions that his wife was having an affair with the complainant.
Fortunately, the fire did not spread much and only a part of the tent was burnt.
This episode was captured on CCTV, a security feature installed by the plaintiff at his house.
The defendant, who had pleaded not guilty to the charge, said in his defence that he was not in the proximity of the said house as he claimed to have been at East Park Mall in the company of his nephew.
He further said that the car that is said to have been used in the crime, and captured by CCTV, was in the garage as it was being serviced.
Sakubita further said the CCTV footage that was used to identify him as a suspect was doctored and as such should not be relied on to determine the case.
But in delivering her judgment, Wednesday, Principal Resident Magistrate Mwaka Mikalile said that she was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the accused did commit arson and noted that it is not correct to say the footage was doctored as the person in it had the same features and body build as that of the accused.
She explained that the fire incident was followed by a series of apologies to Musweu from the accused as well as his family members.
“In a message dated 2nd April 2018, the accused via the phone number 097******32 confirmed to be his by the Airtel subscriber identification information by the defense, wrote and I quote ‘you are a piece of s**t, you even have guts to send a message, I have no time to issue any threat because you are worthless to me, so don’t push your luck. If you don’t date married women why then entertain them? At the rate you are moving, once all is certain, I can guarantee you we will meet in hell’. In the message dated 13th April 2018, the accused, using the same number, wrote ‘Good morning Ian, with time I have come to realize that my insensitive words and actions towards you were and was uncalled for and any attempt to justify myself will amount to nothing. Damage has been done and I wish to take full responsibility for my wrongdoing. Please find it in your heart to forgive me and accept my unreserved apology. I am sorry and I seek to meet you at your convenience so we could start a new chapter on a brotherly note and see the best way forward, signed, LIkando’,” magistrate Mikalile said.
She said she was without a doubt in her mind that the damage reffered to in the message is the damage caused by the fire as there was no known damage that the accused allegedly caused.
“Clearly, the accused willfully or deliberately set fire to the plaintiff’s structure and he had no lawful justification to act in the manner that he did. In the circumstances, I find the accused guilty of arson, contrary to section 338 (1) A of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia and I convict the accused,” said magistrate Mikalile.
The accused has since been committed to the High Court for sentencing as the charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
The convict remains in custody and will be allowed to mitigate in the High Court.