Woman jailed 10 years in GBV killing

A 37-YEAR-OLD woman has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for manslaughter in a case of gender-based violence.

And the High Court judge who sentenced her observed that although a lot of women endured abusive relationships, the use of violence was unjustified.

This was in a matter in which Florence Chanda, 37, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after she sliced the throat of her husband, Davy Sakala, 43, after he slapped her.

The altercation followed Mr Sakala’s demand for K2 from his wife to buy cigarettes.

Facts before court were that on November 15, 2015, Mr Sakala came home drunk with two beer bottles in a plastic bag, and found his wife cutting vegetables with a knife and began demanding for K2 to buy cigarettes.

Mr Sakala was infuriated when she told him that she did not have money which made him slap her in the face. ‘‘In the heat of the moment, the wife swung the hand in which she was holding the knife and slit the deceased’s throat,’’ according to evidence before court.

Lusaka High Court Judge Mwila Kombe found Chanda, of Sewerage compound, guilty of causing the death of her husband during the domestic quarrel.

Ms Justice Kombe said the case before her was serious and deserved a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, but that considering the circumstances of the violence ignited by the deceased, 10 years’ simple imprisonment was relatively a fair sentence for taking away a life.

“I convict you of the crime of manslaughter, which is causing the death of another person. There is no justification for use of a knife when he had just slapped you,” she said.

The judge said a lot of women were in abusive relationships but that use of offensive weapons should not be seen as a solution.

She said because Chanda did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty to the offence and that she was outwardly remorseful for her action, the court had put that into consideration in arriving at the 10-year jail sentence.

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