THE Ndola High Court has sentenced a 34-year-old minibus driver of Nkwazi to three years imprisonment with hard labour for causing the death of two children on Christmas Day last year.
Justice Yvonne Chembe convicted Grant Mwansa of house number 2201 in Nkwazi after he pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of Danny Sichone, 2, and Noah Mulenga, 6, due to dangerous driving.
In passing the sentence, Justice Chembe noted with sadness that the children’s lives were lost as a result of Mwansa’s conduct.
Ms Chembe also said that the high number of fatalities on Zambian roads called for stiffer penalties on perpetrators to stop reckless driving.
“I have heard what has been said in mitigation on your behalf by defence counsel. However, sight should not be lost that two very young lives were lost as a result of the accused’s conduct. And looking at the increasing carnage on our roads, stiffer penalties must be meted out to deter recklessness on the road.
“I sentence you to three years imprisonment with hard labour in each count. The sentences will run concurrently. This is with effect from January 1, 2015, the day on which you were arrested,” Ms Chembe said.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Ethel Banda pleaded with the court for leniency, stating that her client was remorseful for his actions and promised to be a prudent driver.
“Your Honour, the accused is a married man with five children. He is also asking for forgiveness from the families of the deceased as he knows that no punishment can atone for the loss of their loved ones,” Ms Banda said.
Particulars are that on Christmas Day last year in Ndola, Mwansa, whilst driving a Mitsubishi Canter ACT 8057, caused the death of Sichone and Mulenga when his vehicle rammed into the house where the two children and other victims were sleeping.
Facts read in court were that on the material night, around 20.00 hours, Mwansa lost control of his vehicle due to excessive speeding and hit into a house which had four people inside, including the deceased.
The victims sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Ndola Central Hospital where the two children died on arrival.
The matter was then reported to the police and the accused was apprehended.