THE Lusaka High Court has sentenced Kenneth Makina, a teacher, to death by hanging for the murder of his wife Charity Jikubi.
Makina has also been slapped with a 25-year jail term for wounding his landlord Eustace Kapotwe, a lecturer at Zambia Open University.
Justice Pixie Yangailo has ordered that the sentences will run concurrently effective the date of arrest on February 13, 2019.
This is in matter were Makina was facing two counts of murder and acts intending to cause grievous bodily harm.
On February 13, 2019, Makina murdered Jikubi, a police officer, when she went to collect a wardrobe which she left under his care and with intent to maim, destroy, or disable, caused grievous bodily harm to Kapotwe by shooting him in his right thigh.
In his defense, Makina claimed that he was attacked by Jikubi, her niece, landlord and carpenter when she went to collect the wardrobe.
He said he allowed her to enter his house and dismantle the wardrobe but she later started hurling insults at him.
Makina alleged that he told her that he would not release the wardrobe if she continued insulting him but his landlord charged at him in an attempt to push him in the house and he was gripped with fear that Jikubi would pepper spray him so he shot the landlord in the leg.
He added that due to fear that Jikubi would pepper spray him, he shot her hand twice.
However, justice Yangailo found that the issue of self-defense was an afterthought by Makina because he did not explain what motive his landlord would have had in attacking him as he contradicted himself when he further alleged that his landlord was shielding Jikubi.
Judge Yangailo said postmortem results also contradicted Makina’s testimony as they show that he shot Jikubi on her shoulder and left buttock therefore he was not a reliable witness.
She said the defense of provocation equally failed as none of the witnesses confirmed that Jikubi insulted Makina and based on her findings she found him guilty and convicted him for the alleged offences.
In mitigation, Makina said he had reflected on his actions whilst in custody which would haunt him for the rest of his life.
He asked the court to exercise leniency as he had a chance to reform.
Handing down her sentence, judge Yangailo said the crimes Makina committed had become prevalent in society.
She said Jikubi only wanted to collect a wardrobe and Makina killed her for it.
Judge Yangailo ruled that she observed the convict’s demeanor during trial and noted that he did not look remorseful or hurt that someone who was personally known to him and lived with him died as a result of his actions.
“You gave your evidence in a defiant tone and did not appear to appreciate the gravity of the offences that you faced. This court will be failing in its duty if it does not mete out an appropriate punishment that will send a clear message to society,” she said.
“You (Makina) now have to face the consequences of your actions as the offenses on which you have been convicted carry up to life sentence and a mandatory sentence of death in the absence of extenuating circumstances.”
Judge Yangailo sentenced the convict to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour for the offense of acts intended to cause grievous harm and for the offence of murder, there being no extenuating circumstances, she sentenced Makina to death and directed that he shall be hanged by the neck until pronounced dead.
“May the lord have mercy on your soul; both sentences to run concurrently from the date of arrest,” said judge Yangailo.