A 44-year-old farmer of Itezhi tezhi district who breached the terms of his firearm certificate after giving the firearm to his son has been convicted and fined K1, 000 for failing to secure his firearm.
Vernon Sikaanda, a resident of Mbila area in Chief Shezongo’s Chiefdom in Itezhi tezhi district in Central Province was convicted after he pleaded guilty to one count of contravening section 38(1) (2) of the firearms Act Chapter 110 of the laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence were that Vernon Sikaanda, on February 17, 2020, in Itezhi tezhi district of Central Province, did fail to secure his firearm in respect thereof.
The court heard from facts read by Senior Prosecutor Luckson Ngoma that on February 17, 2020, around 19 hours officers were on routine duty in Mwambela village in Chief Shezongo when they found a man with a gun.
The officers then interviewed the man who had a gun and he revealed that it was his father’s gun.
The court further heard that when the officers were led to the owner, it was discovered that he had a valid license but failed to explain why the gun was not secured.
The officers then apprehended him and took him to Police where he was later charged with the subject offence.
Magistrate, Keggan Litia found Sikaanda guilty and convicted him on his own confession.
In mitigation Sikaanda pleaded for maximum leniency saying that he was a first offender and that he realized that he kept his firearm carelessly.
He also asked the court to consider imposing a fine instead of a custodial sentence as he has a large family to look after.
“Firearms are controlled articles because they can be used in committing crimes and since the law allows to impose a fine for this offence before giving a custodial sentence, I impose a fine of K1,000 in default 3 months simple imprisonment,” he said when passing sentence.
And the gun in question has been forfeited to the state and the court’s decision has implications if Sikaanda intends to re-apply for the firearm license.