A 30-year-old Ndola man has pleaded guilty to burning of Kapalala market and has been sentenced to 24 months with hard labour by the Ndola magistrate court.

This is in a matter where Luckson Ngabala of 120 Kabushi is charged with criminal recklessness and negligence.

When the matter came up before Magistrate Oswald Chibalo, Ngabala admitted the charge.

“I admit the charge. I had no right to make a brazier in the market because it is not allowed. No one permitted me to leave the brazier unattended to. We are not allowed to put braziers in the market. I don’t know how I left it unattended to. I only left it for like four minutes. I left it to go and work,” he told court.

In mitigation, Ngabala said it was not his intention to see the market on fire becuase that was also his place of livelihood.

He asked for the court and the marketeers to forgive him.

But magistrate Chibalo said he was sending Ngabala to prison to protect his life.

“But for the sake of your own good and life as a way of keeping away from the temper of the affected marketeers, I make a punishment that you reflect and take precaution when in public places. This should also be a deterrent to offenders in the future because we have seen an increase in the burning of markets. I sentence you to 24 months with hard labour effective the day of arrest,” ruled magistrate Chibalo.