Former National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo’s son Chito has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment with hard labour for drug trafficking after he pleaded guilty to the offence.
He appeared before Lusaka magistrate Albert Mwaba for sentencing today.
Following his own admission of guilt after he confirmed that the facts of the matter were true and correct, magistrate Mwaba jailed him to nine months imprisonment with hard labour.
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 allaged 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.
Mr. 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 counselling 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.