Mandatory for Court to give death penalty on commission of offence of aggravated robbery

Supreme Court of Zambia: This appeal was filed before a 3-Judge Bench comprising of Hamaundu, Kajimanga and Chinyama, JJS., where trial court had imposed the death penalty on the appellant for aggravated robbery under Section 294 (2) of the Penal Code.

Appellant was convicted and sentences for death penalty for the commission of robbery having offensive and dangerous weapons. The Trial Court had referred to a case of Simon Mudenda v. People, (1980) ZMSC 26 in which it was held that in case of aggravated robbery that is, where firearms or other offensive weapons are involved, it was mandatory to give death penalty and Court cannot consider any extenuating circumstances or pass any other order. Therefore, Trial Court gave him death penalty under Section 294(2) of the Penal Code. Appellant contended that he did not have any firearm with him and prosecution did not establish the presence of firearm with appellant.

Supreme Court on perusing all the witnesses found that one eye witness had seen appellant’s accomplice armed with a firearm and this fact was not contested. Two other eye witnesses had seen a plank kind of thing to have fallen from the appellant’s bag which later was found in the ballistic report to be the part of the firearm recovered from appellant. Thus, Trial Court had correctly convicted and sentenced appellant. Therefore, this appeal was dismissed. [Anania Tembo v. People, 2018 SCC OnLine ZMSC 3, dated 10-12-2018]

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