TWO men of Solwezi have been condemned to death by hanging after they brutally murdered their friend over opaque beer.

Sitting in Ndola, Court of Appeal judges Kelvin Muzenga, Chalwe Mchenga and Betty Majula resealed Elias Mukala and Major Sindazi’s death sentence.

This is in a case Mukala and Sindazi were convicted of murdering Frank Mutasa.Between December 30, 2016 and January 26, 2017, the duo killed Mr Mutasa after a drinking spree.

The court heard that during the battle over beer, the victim’s house got damaged.In their defence, the convicts told the court that on the fateful day, they had gone drinking, after which a quarrel ensued and they all resolved to go to their respective houses, as the victim held on to a packet of opaque beer.

Mukala said someone later approached him asking why he had beaten Mr Mutasa.He told the court that he was not involved in beating Mr Mutasa because he was very drunk.

And Sindazi told the court that he went to the bar to drink with Mukala and that after a while, Mr Mutasa approached them in a drunken state and asked for more beer from them, but they turned down the request because he was drunk.

He told the court that Mr Mutasa decided to hold on to the packet of beer, but they managed to grab it from him and left.

But the arresting officer told the court that Mr Mutasa was not talking, had a broken neck, swollen head and a deep cut as sticks and bricks were used to injure him.

According to the post-mortem examination result, the victim died of head injuries, which also resulted in blood clots.Unsatisfied with the conviction and sentence, Mukala and Sindazi appealed the matter, claiming that the trial court erred in law and fact with the decision that there were no extenuating circumstances to necessitate a sentence of death.

But judges Muzenga, Mchenga and Majula, who are hearing appeal cases on the Copperbelt, dismissed the case after carefully scrutinising the evidence, arguments by the lawyers and trial judge.

“Although the accused person may have been drunk, they did not in any way reach a stage of incapacity to appreciate that which they were doing for them to claim intoxication as an extenuating factor. Claims of being drunk are nothing but a lie to avoid the matter, they said.


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