The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has convicted and sentenced a 30-year-old machine operator of Kamanga township to eight months imprisonment with hard labour for hitting his wife with a pot on the head during a fight.
In this matter, Lovemore Lungu was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Particulars of the offence where that on April 9, this year, Lungu assaulted Stella Mwanza, 27 and occasioned her actual bodily harm.
However, when the matter came up before magistrate Nthandose Chabala for trial, Tuesday, Mwanza applied to withdraw the matter.
She informed the court that she had forgiven her husband for the offence he committed, adding that she was afraid that if he was sent to jail, she and her children would suffer.
But when magistrate Chabala read the complainant’s medical report which public prosecutor Simuusa Muleya presented to the court, she observed that the injuries which Mwanza sustained were aggravating.
She then ordered that the matter proceed into trial.
Lungu had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge but after his wife attempted to withdraw the case, he requested for the charge to be read out to him again.
And after reading the charge to Lungu, he pleaded guilty.
Facts in this matter were that on the material day, Mwanza went to the clinic to seek medical attention and upon returning home, she opted to sleep on the floor in the night because her neck was paining.
But when Lungu returned home, he questioned her over why she was sleeping on the floor and not on the bed, to which she explained that she was unwell.
However, Lungu, who was not comfortable with his wife’s decision to sleep on the floor, lifted her and put her on the bed, an act which led to a fight between the couple.
Lungu started beating Mwanza who also retaliated.
And as Mwanza tried to run away, Lungu went to get a pot and hit her in the head where she sustained a deep cut.
She reported the matter to the police and Lungu was later arrested.
Magistrate Chabala convicted Lungu on his own admission of the charge.
But in mitigation, Lungu asked the court not to send him to jail as his wife and children would suffer, being a bread winner of the family.
Lungu added that while in detention, his family was evicted from the house because there was no one paying rentals.
“My wife has since been evicted from our rented house for failing to pay rentals,” he said.
Passing her sentence, magistrate Chabala said she had taken note of Lungu’s mitigation and the fact that he was a first offender who readily admitted the charge.
She, however, said she had also taken note of the injuries which the complainant sustained.
Magistrate Chabala advised the couple that fighting in marriage was not good and it was better for them to seek counsel from the church if there was a problem, instead of picking a pot or bottle to hit the wife.
She observed that it was wrong for Lungu to have hit his wife with a pot, adding that he deserved a custodial sentence to deter would be offenders.
Magistrate Chabala then sentenced him to eight months imprisonment with hard labour.
“I sentence you to eight months imprisonment with hard labour from the date of your arrest,” she ruled.
Meanwhile, the matter in which Mpulungu Ward 23 PF Councilor Christopher Shakafuswa is accused of assaulting a woman, has been adjourned to Friday this week for possible commencement of trial.
In this matter, Shakufuswa, 37, who is also a farmer, is charged with assault, occasioning actual bodily harm.
It is alleged that on April 20, 2019 in Lusaka, Shakafuswa assaulted Mazili Namwiinga and occasioned her actual bodily harm.
When the matter came up for trial before magistrate Chabala, Tuesday, the State informed the court that it was not ready to commence with trial due to some administrative challenges, suggesting that the matter should come up on Friday.
“The accused person is present and the matter was scheduled for commencement of trial. However, the State is not ready due to some administrative challenges,” the state said.
Magistrate Chabala then adjourned the matter to Friday, May 24, 2019.
She also warned Shakafuswa who is on police bond, to ensure that he was before court on that day.