ELIAS Chipimo says he is proud of his 23-year-old son, Chito who was sent to jail yesterday after pleading guilty to drug trafficking.
Lusaka Magistrate Albert Mwaba sentenced Chito to nine, six and three months jail terms to run at the same time on following his own admission of guilt.
Chito, 23, of Kasangula Road in Roma was charged with one count of trafficking in narcotic drugs, possession of psychotropic substances in the second count and unlawful use of a motor vehicle in the third.
In count one, it was alleged that on December 27, 2019 in Lusaka, Chito trafficked in narcotics drugs namely 1.43 grams of cocaine without lawful authority.
In count two, on the same date, Chito had in his possession psychotropic substances, namely 0.11 grams of amphetamine without lawful authority.
In the last count, on December 27, 2019 in Lusaka, Chito is alleged to have used a motor vehicle namely, Toyota blade Registration Number BAJ 9330 to carry, conceal and convey psychotropic substances without lawful authority.
When the case was called before magistrate Mwaba last week on Wednesday , Chito admitted trafficking in 1.43 grams of cocaine and 0.11 grams of amphetamine, saying he had no lawful authority or justification for his actions.
When asked what he wanted to do with the amphetamine,Chito said that it was for use.
He had initially pleaded not guilty but changed the plea to guilty last week.
According to facts read by prosecutor from the Drug Enforcement Commission Lewis Kandele, DEC officers on December 26, 2019, received information that there was a person with drugs in Kabulonga and officers proceeded there and apprehended Chito after finding him with the drugs.
Under warn and caution, Chito freely and voluntarily admitted to the charges.
Kandele said Chito had no lawful excuse for his conduct.
When asked by magistrate Mwaba whether the facts were correct, Chito responded in the affirmative.
“Upon your own admission in all the three counts, I find you guilty and convict you accordingly,” magistrate Mwaba said.
In mitigation through his lawyer, Chito said he is remorseful of his actions and was of the youthful age and asked the court to give him room for reformation.
He urged the court to give him a second chance and that he has spent time in custody from December 26, 2019 and reflected on his deeds.
The lawyer said that his client was willing to undergo counseling to become a better citizen who would sensitize his peers on the dangers of dealing in drugs.
He urged the court to consider imposing a suspended sentence as opposed to custodial one.
But magistrate Mwaba said although he considered the fact that Chito was a first offender, drug related cases were prevalent in society and needed custodial sentence.
He sentenced Chito to nine months in the first count, three months in the second count and six months in the third count but the sentences will run concurrently effective December 26, 2019 when he was arrested.
This means he will only spend nine months in jail.
Magistrate Mwaba also ordered that the vehicle in which Chito concealed the drugs be forfeited to the State.
He informed him of his right to appeal if he was not happy with the sentence.
Chipimo who was present during the sentencing of his son told journalists that he was just a father who loves his son.
The former NAREP leader wished his son “the very best”
He said his heart went out out to all the parents who had to endure such an experience because he knew how painful it was.
“My son is a man, he has taken full responsibility, I am very proud of him and I love him,” Chipimo told reporters.
“It is not easy being a young person in our society today, opportunities are limited and young people are not given enough understanding. I hope this opportunity will be taken seriously by law enforcement authorities which must be to love and guide and not to celebrate and to claim victory over putting young people in the cells,” added Chipimo.