THE Lusaka High Court yesterday sent to prison two Lusaka businessmen for 15 years with hard labour after they were found guilty of aggravated robbery.
Noel Musona and Mbeta Kapeta were jailed by Judge Gertrude Chawatama after it was established that the prosecution had proved their case beyond doubt while the third accused Noel Kamwange was acquitted after the court found that there was no evidence linking him to the offence.
This is in a case in which Musona, Kapeta and Kamwange were facing a charge of aggravated robbery of in which they stole a TV set, radio and other items, property of Minica Zulu of Lusaka by using actual violence in order to overcome resistance.
The prosecution called five witnesses.
Making the ruling, Ms Justice Chawatama said she had no doubt that Musona and Kapeta stole the property by using actual violence which left the victim with a fractured head.
She said there was no doubt the offence of ggravated robbery was committed after the accused opted to remain silent and called no witnesses.
Ms Justice Chawatama added that it was also not in dispute that the accused’s stance to remain silent strengthened the evidence against them.
She found the two accused guilty as charged and sent them to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the day of arrest.
In mitigation the duo through their lawyer asked the court to exercise maximum leniency on them as they were first offenders.
Musona and Kapeta told the court that the two years they had been remanded in prison had taught them a lot and asked the court to give them a second chance.
They added that they were both family men on whom many depended for their livelihood. Ms Justice Chawatama said she took note of what they said in mitigation but the offence they committed was very serious and that she would fail in her duty if she acquitted them. The robbery took place early last year.