Kajilo Muzungu, son of losing MMD Mufumbwe constituency candidate Mulondwe Muzungu, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on each of three counts of manslaughter contrary to section 199 of the penal code Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
The sentences will run concurrently and this means he will only serve a 10 year sentence on all the three counts.
Kitwe High court Judge, Justice Isaac Chali sitting in Solwezi found Kajilo with a case to answer on all the three counts after the state called in 10 witnesses to testify.
Particulars of the offence were that on 30th April 2010 in Mufumbwe district on the Mutanda- Chavuma road, Kajilo unlawfully caused the death of three juveniles aged between eight and 12 years old by hitting them with a vehicle.
He had in his plea, pleaded not guilty.
Giving evidence in defence, Kajilo said while driving from Kakikasa, where the MMD had set up its camp going to Chizela area around 05:00 hours, he saw a mob comprising mostly youths who had machetes and sticks in front of him that had covered the entire road.
He said he hooted and flicked the lights of the vehicle as a way of asking his way through but the crowd did not respond.
Kajilo said from the non response of the crowd, he realized that his vehicle had been identified because of the posters that it carried.
He says because of the prevailing political situation during the campaign period and his own experience of being attacked, Kajilo realized that his life was in danger.
He added that it was then that he decided to maneuver in the crowd to find his way and in the process knocked down five people three of whom died and two sustained injuries.
But passing judgment, Justice Chali said from the evidence given by prosecution witnesses and the postmortem reports, there were no intervening circumstances to show that the deceased died from other injuries other than those sustained from the accident.
Justice Chali observed that the witnesses said Kajilo drove in a zig-zag manner which had been confirmed by the sketch plan drawn by the police officer who went to the accident scene and his own evidence that he tried to maneuver to find his way from left to right.
He inevitably concluded that despite the volatile environment in the area and the danger that Kajilo claimed to have faced amidst the mob, his vehicle was not scratched or damaged which showed that the mob was not armed.
The Judge said Kajilo’s conduct was bad as he should have avoided driving through the crowd by driving back upon discovering that the mob was hostile but proceeded to hit people on either side of the road.
Kajilo pleaded for maximum leniency from the court saying he regretted the incident that happened adding that he was currently on medication for a liver complication and had family and civic duties as he represented the Chizela royal establishment in the council.
Justice Chali said the circumstances under which the incident occurred compelled him to punish Kajilo severely.