THE Lusaka High Court has sentenced a 28-year-old music promoter to death by hanging for killing an Egyptian after robbing him of various items four years ago.
Meanwhile, High Court Judge Bubile Shonga has acquitted two juveniles, who were jointly-charged with Charles Nyirongo after finding that there was no evidence linking the two to the offences.
This is a matter in which Nyirongo and two male juveniles were facing two charges of murder and aggravated robbery.
Particulars of the offence in count one were that Nyirongo murdered Muaz Mohamed Ibrahim between July 17 and 18, 2016, in Lusaka.
In count two, Nyirongo stole a motor vehicle registration number AHB 620, Toyota Spacio, white in colour.
He further stole an I-phone and Viva natural drinks altogether valued at K50,000, property of Ibrahim and immediately at the time of the theft, threatened or used violence in order to prevent or overcome resistance of it being stolen.
During trial, the State called 16 witnesses.
Fredrick Chikoti testified that Nyirongo and Ibrahim (deceased) were friends.
Chikoti and Ibrahim’s step brother Amar Hassan confirmed to the Court that they saw Nyirongo and Ibrahim together before he was discovered dead.
And Maxwell Malama, a wildlife police officer working for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife told the Court that Ibrahim’s body was found outside Lusaka National Park along Shantubu Road on July 18, 2016, around 15:30hours.
He observed that when he discovered the body, it was facing upwards and was in a burnt state, although not to ashes.
Malama added that the area surrounding the body was also burned.
Dr Viktor Telendiy, a forensic pathologist within the Zambia Police Service testified that the postmortem burns that were found on Ibrahim’s body were effected after his death.
And a clinical pathologist, Dr Sumbu Kowa, told the Court that he received a sample of dark/gray granules in a small plastic sachet from the police.
He added that when the substance was analyzed, findings identified the contents of the sachet as Aldicarb, which was a pesticide used to control pests for agricultural purposes.
Dr Kowa, however, said the postmortem findings led him deduce that the cause of death was Asphyxia due to strangulation and he concluded that the manner of death was homicide.
In her judgement delivered, Tuesday, Justice Shonga said the uncontested evidence of Ibrahim’s brother that he last saw the deceased on July 16, 2016, and that his brother left in his car, a Toyota Spacio, and the evidence of Hassan that he last saw Ibrahim at his workshop on the same day, made her find with easy that Ibrahim died sometime after July 16.
She said it was a matter of fact that Ibrahim was last seen entering the Yard No. 10 Mwatusanga road in Woodlands with his friend Nyirongo.
Justice Shonga added Nyirongo was seen with the deceased after he (the deceased) was last seen by his brothers, the day before he was found dead.
She further said because of the burns, she came to a conclusion that Ibrahim did not commit suicide but that he was strangled and was later burnt.
“I am, therefore, shackled by the law, I am left with no option but to apply the statutory mandatory sentence. As such, the mandatory sentence of death, to hang by the neck until he is dead, is accordingly passed,” ruled Justice Shonga.