A 31-YEAR-OLD peasant of Mazabuka has been jailed for 25 years with hard labour for stabbing his cousin to death over a land dispute.
Livingstone High Court Judge Ernest Mukulwamutiyo convicted and jailed Hanyinga Kalapa of Chief Mwanachingwala’s area in Mazabuka after the prosecution provided overwhelming evidence against him.
He was found to have, on January 25, this year, in Mazabuka, murdered Chiboyi Hamoonga, 37.
Delivering his judgment, Judge Mukulwamutiyo said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. He said the act by the convict of stabbing his cousin twice was clear that he did not want to resolve the land dispute amicably.
Judge Mukulwamutiyo said there was no evidence that the convict was attacked by the people that went to resolve the land dispute as he had claimed in his defence.
The judge said the visit by the deceased and his team to the convict’s land was lawful as it was sanctioned by the chief.
“It is clear that he had a motive to commit the felony and the issue of the convict that he acted in self-defence does not arise as he was not attacked. Therefore, his action was uncalled for,” he said.
And in mitigation through his lawyer, Martin Makinka, Kalapa pleaded with the court to exercise leniency because he was a first offender.
The defence counsel from Legal Aid said the convict was youthful and remorseful over his actions, therefore the court should give him a second chance.
In passing the sentence, Judge Mukulwamutiyo said he had considered the convict’s mitigation and that since he was a first offender, he was entitled to leniency.
“I have considered that you are a youth who can re-integrate into society and contribute to the development of the community. The court has also considered the circumstances in which the offence was committed,” he said.
Judge Mukulwamutiyo then handed down the 25-year jail sentence with effect from the date of Kalapa’s arrest.