Taking law in own hands: trucker fined for assaulting suspect

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CHARLES MUSONDA writes

A TRUCK driver has been fined K2, 000 or nine months imprisonment with hard labour in default for assaulting a man he suspected of stealing a tyre and a battery from his truck.

Before Lusaka Magistrate Racheal Mwansa yesterday was Ike Maona who pleaded not guilty to assaulting Kennedy Kaira in Freedom compound in Chilanga district.

Ms. Mwansa also ordered Maona to compensate the victim with K2, 000 within 10 days failure to which a warrant of distress will be issued against him for the severe injuries the convict inflicted on Mr. Kaira.

During trial, Mr, Kaira testified that on May 21, 2018, he was walking back home from work at Lafarge Cement in the evening when he heard someone calling him from behind. The victim could not see the person calling him as it was dark due to power blackout.

When the person calling the victim caught up with him, he accused the latter of stealing the tyre and the battery from the stationary truck.

The accuser, who turned out to be Maona, told Mr. Kaira that he had power to sort him out and not take him to police.

He later hit Mr. Kaira with an iron bar that felt like a spanner on his face side and threatened to burn the victim to death. A mob later joined in the beating after which the victim fainted and only found himself at University Teaching Hospital (UTH) the next day.

He spent five days in UTH and he was still receiving treatment at the time of trial.

Passing judgment yesterday, Ms. Mwansa found that Maona had a physical confrontation with the victim and occasioned him discomfort for which the accused person had no lawful justification.

“He suffered bodily harm and the injuries were grave. The victim brought real evidence that his face was compromised. It is not in dispute that it is the accused person and some people who participated in assaulting the victim.

“He jointly formed an unlawful enterprise to assault the victim and I find him guilty as charged,” she said.

In mitigation, Maona said he takes care of his grandmother who is unable to walk and that he looks after his deceased siblings’ children.

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