“The law breaking drivers should be detected, punished and deterred by imposing tough mandatory custodian penalties”
Lusaka, Wednesday, 20th January, 2016. Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST) is calling for strengthening of the penalties related to serious criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death. This follows the inadequate penalty of Mr. David Mwambazi who caused the death of Ms. Agnes Winnie Jere by knocking her down on her way to work.
Mwambazi got away with murder by a fine of K4000 (£200) for ending the life a young mother and promising TV career woman. The Trust believes this penalty is woefully inadequate, causes terrible insult and upset to the bereaved family, leaving them feeling betrayed by the Zambian justice system.
On October 21, 2015, Mwambazi caused the death of Agnes by driving his Taxi without due care, dangerously, over speeding and deliberately passing in a wrong lane – charges he admitted to.
The Trust is concerned that our justice system in Zambia is letting-off drivers like Mwambazi who kill, harm and endanger innocent lives.
In 2015, more than 2000 people have died as a result of road crashes, over 50% are pedestrians killed similar to Agnes by dangerous and reckless drivers. In too many of those cases—and in even more in which lesser charges were brought—victims of those serious crimes and their families have been badly let down.
The Trust calls for changes to the law to ensure that proper justice can be delivered in the future. Charges and penalties for causing death or serious injury should be mandatory custodian sentences not less than 5 years for ‘dangerous’ and ‘careless’ drivers.
Zambian Road Safety Trust Chairman , Daniel Mwamba said:
“We need changes throughout the system from police investigations through to prosecutions, sentencing and to the very charges themselves—to give justice to families who suffer from these awful crimes, and also to deter people from behaving so recklessly behind the wheel of a vehicle.
“We shall work with members of parliament and others willing to introduce a bill in parliament on this matter. In the end, we must see, by the end of 2016, a change across the board so that we can at last deliver justice for victims and their families”…/Ends