Court convicts Ex-minister for shooting PF cadre
|Dr Solomon Musonda (c) at Kabwe High
Court before he was convicted yesterday
The Kabwe High Court yesterday convicted former health
deputy minister and current Chitambo MMD member of parliament Dr Solomon Musonda
after he was found guilty of shooting a PF
cadre from his constituency last year.
High Court judge Mugeni Mulenga reserved mitigation and sentencing in the matter
to Friday following an application for adjournment from Dr Musonda's
During the delivery of her judgment in a sparsely-filled
court room yesterday morning, judge Mulenga said the prosecution, who had called
11 witnesses in the case, had proved the two ingredients required to establish
that Dr Musonda was guilty of causing grievous harm with intent to maim,
disfigure or disable Jackson Musaka.
Judge Mulenga said the prosecution
had proven their case beyond reasonable doubt and that Dr Musonda's shooting of
Musaka was a reckless and unjustifiable risk for which a defence of self-defence
could not stand.
Judge Mulenga said Dr Musonda after being placed on his
defence elected to give evidence on oath but that he did not call any
Judge Mulenga said Dr Musonda said in his defence that he
acted out of fear and that his life was in danger as he thought the youths that
had blocked his way after he addressed a development meeting at Lubembe school
in Chitambo were armed.
Judge Mulenga said Dr Musonda, a medical doctor,
further said in his defence that due to poor visibility he was convinced that
the youths that were demanding money from him for the road they had repaired
"He Dr Musonda admitted firing two shots," judge Mulenga
said. "He was aware that a gun was a dangerous weapon."
said from the evidence adduced, it was not in dispute that Dr Musonda fired in
the air after he encountered the youths on the road and that the youths, apart
from Emmanuel Chabala, who was the third prosecution witness in the case,
scampered in various directions.
Judge Mulenga said it was not in dispute
also that as Dr Musonda fired the second shot from his pistol, some of the
youths had started coming back to the scene.
Judge Mulenga said
immediately the second shot was fired, Musaka screamed and fell to the
"The police found an empty cartridge on the scene which was
confirmed to have been shot from the accused's gun by the ballistic expert." she
Judge Mulenga said the prosecution's submission was that the
shooting of Musaka by Dr Musonda was intentional as he was not in imminent
danger at the time.
Judge Mulenga said it was the prosecution's argument
that Dr Musonda fired the second shot whilst being aware that the people who had
scampered earlier were getting back to the scene.
Judge Mulenga said the
prosecution's position was that the minor inconsistencies in the testimony of
some of the prosecution witnesses did not go to the root of the case.
the defence's submissions, judge Mulenga noted that it was their argument that
the prosecution failed to establish the pre-requisite mens rea
(intention) because Dr Musonda was convinced that the youths were armed and that
he acted under extreme fear.
"It was further submitted that there was
dereliction of duty in failing to ascertain the identity of the youths as
belonging to Patriotic Front," judge Mulenga said. "PW7 prosecution witness
number Daniel Museteka, an Officer Commanding for Serenje Police was said to be
a biased witness."
The defence also asked the court to take judicial
notice of the poor visibility at the scene of crime.
But in considering
the submissions, judge Mulenga said the inconsistencies and untruths among the
prosecution witnesses complained of by the defence did not go to the root of the
case as argued by the prosecution.
Judge Mulenga in concurring with the
prosecution's submissions said some of the alleged contradictions were not
really contradictions as they were clarified subsequently.