THE two Lusaka teenagers who brutally murdered a 20 -year- old taxi driver, Mathews Chipili, have been sent to Katombola reformatory school for counseling by the Lusaka High Court.
The counseling period is normally between four to 22 years but in this case, it was up to the counsellors to decide how long the counseling period would last.
The reformatory order was granted after recommendation from the Social Welfare Department.
Mr Daniel Banda, a probation officer from Social Welfare, asked Lusaka High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga to exercise maximum leniency on the juveniles based on information that he obtained from the families of the boys and his own analysis.
Mr Banda told the court that the first juvenile was school-going at the time he was arrested for murder and aggravated robbery.
He said the boy came from a Christian background and had never committed an offence.
Mr Banda told the court that the boy was remorseful and if given a chance he wished to go back to school and become a responsible member of society.
He also said from the information received from the second juvenile’s father and his own analysis, the boy had always been a problem child and that he was once suspended from school for his bad behavior.
Mr Banda said the boy had once undergone counseling when he was involved in drugs.
However, Mr Banda asked the court to exercise maximum leniency on the boy to give him a second chance as he was remorseful for his action and would be tormented for the rest of his life.
He said the boy’s father also prayed that his son be put on probation than be given a custodial sentence so that he would go back to school and write his Grade 12 examinations.
In mitigation, the defence counsels asked the court to exercise maximum leniency on the boys as they were first offenders.
In her ruling, Justice Mulenga said she had considered what was in the social welfare report and the mitigation by both defence counsels that the two were juveniles and first offenders who deserved a second chance and become responsible members of the society.
Justice Mulenga said it was her hope that once counseled the boys would reform.
However, she was disappointed with both parents because had they brought up the boys well, they would not have committed such a serious offence.
She said both parents had contributed to what their children had fallen into because the boys would sleep out and were not disciplined.
Shortly after court the deceased’s father Pearson Chipili said he was not happy with the sentence because the teenagers deserved a custodial sentence of life imprisonment.
Mr Chipili said such people did not deserve to be part of society and must be sent to prison or hanged.
He said the State should appeal to the Supreme Court against the sentence.
Particulars of the offence are that the two teenagers aged between 14 and 16 murdered Mathews Chipili on December 22, 2012.