HIV positive drug traficker jailed

Nakonde, December 30, 2009, ZANIS-The Nakonde magistrate’s court has convicted and sentenced a 30 -year -old man to three years simple imprisonment after finding him guilty of trafficking in psychotropic substances, contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Nakonde magistrate John Njapau sentenced Emmanuel Banda after he was found guilty of one count of trafficking in 8.2 grams of cannabis, contrary to section six of the Narcotic and Psychotropic substances Act CAP 96 of the Laws of Zambia.

Facts before the court were that Banda, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) after he was found marijuana near Lwamabazi night club.

Passing judgment, magistrate Njapau said he had taken Banda’s mitigation into consideration but noted that the offence he committed was very serious.

Magistrate Njapau said those found guilty on charges of drug trafficking need to be punished heavily so as to deter other would be offenders in future.

In mitigation, Banda said he had poor health because he was HIV positive, adding that despite his condition, he was looking after three school-going children who would suffer if he is given a custodial sentence.

But magistrate Njapau said although Banda is HIV positive, the court would slap a custodial sentence on him because he knew his condition but went ahead to commit a serious offence, expecting the court to be lenient on him.

Magistrate Njapau said he was sending Banda to jail for three years simple imprisonment with effect from yesterday December 29, 2009.

“Because of your poor health, you will serve three years with simple labour, meaning that you will not be subjected to hard jobs while serving your sentence in prison,” magistrate Njapau said.

ZANIS

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