By CHINTU MALAMBO
THE Lusaka High Court was yesterday turned into a place of mourning after the driver of the Kapena bus accident in which 17 people died last May was jailed for five years.
Relatives of the convict, Mubiana Matomola, cried as High Court judge Mwila Chitabo pronounced judgement.
Mutomola had earlier pleaded guilty to 17 counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
Facts before court were that on May 23, 2017, Matomola while driving a Marcopolo bus registration number ABP 6303 along Great East Road, in Luangwa, did cause a road traffic accident resulting in deaths.
When Matomola reached between Luangwa market and Luangwa bridge, he drove recklessly at a high speed and consequently lost control of the vehicle which overturned thereby causing death of the 17 victims.
The 17 bodies were retrieved and taken to Chongwe hospital for postmortem. Results showed that the victims died due to multiple blunt force injury due to road traffic accident.
The motor vehicle was examined and the report indicated that the braking and suspension system were not in good condition. In his judgement, Justice Chitabo said Matomola being a first offender who readily pleaded guilty was entitled to leniency.
But the aggravating factors were that due to his dangerous driving, 17 lives were lost and the effect could not be remitted at this stage.
Justice Chitabo held that Matomola’s mitigation that he was remorseful was false as he ought to have known the possible consequence of dangerous driving to avoid the consequence of the calamity.
Justice Chitabo sentenced Matomola to five years imprisonment with hard labour backdated from the day of arrest but granted him leave to appeal if he was not satisfied with the verdict.