State opposes Kambwili’s five month jail term

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THE State considers Chishimba Kambwili’s five-month jail term for Hate Speech as a slap on the wrist of the tribalist and has since moved to have it increased.

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The former Roan PF member of parliament was last week convicted by Kasama Magistrates Court and handed five months behind bars with hard labour for Hate speech.

The 53-year old was charged with expressing hatred and ridicule for persons because of tribe and place of origin when he featured on a live paid for programme on Radio Mano between May 1 and August 8, 2021.

During the run-up to the 2021 elections, Kambwili resorted to spewing anti-Tonga tribalism in an attempt to persuade Northerners to loathe Southerners in favour of PF candidate Edgar Lungu.

Despite noting that Kambwili’s tribal remarks were capable of causing an ethnic war Senior Resident Magistrate Samson Mumba sent him to jail for a short period on reasons that he was a former minister who had served the country diligently and deserved some leniency.

However, the State feels the trial court was sympathetic in imposing the sentence as the five months is to minimal to serve as a corrective measure.

The State has since filed a notice of appeal to challenge the sentence in the High Court on two grounds of appeal.

The State argues that the trial Court erred in law and fact when it sentenced Kambwili to a term of five months imprisonment with hard labour for the offence of hate speech which has a maximum sentence of two years.

It said the trial Court erred in law when it misapplied the principals of sentencing in relation to the gravity and nature of offence committed.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba December 8, 2023.

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