A KABWE magistrate court has slapped a 12-months prison sentence on Zambian
musician Davis Ngoma popularly known as "Nasty D" after convicting him of
trafficking in marijuana.

Magistrate Beatrice Kabinga however suspended the jail term for two years
after Ngoma's lawyer Abudual Shonga from Shamwana and Company pleaded with
the court to exercise lenience as his client was a first offender.

Ngoma was arrested by Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers two weeks
ago in Kabwe where he had gone to perform after finding him with 15 grammes
of marijuana.

Ms Kabinga, in suspending the sentence recognised the singer's contribution
to charity and the fight against HIV/AIDS in the society.

During mitigation Mr Shonga said Ngoma was a first offender who had not
wasted the courts time and therefore did not deserve a severe sentence.

He said a lenient sentence was sufficient to teach a honest person a lesson
adding that his client had already suffered the punishment because of the
wide publicity the case had attracted.

Mr Shonga said the singer had actively and selflessly given himself to
public works for the benefit of the Zambian society and appealed to the
court to recognise his contribution to the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in
society.

In addition, Mr Shonga said Ngoma had done numerous charity works for the
benefit of society and had also been actively involved in matters involving
crime prevention with Zambia police.

"My client has also worked extensively with the vulnerable in society, a
fact which is not refutable. He is a very useful person in society and
therefore deserves lenience from the court in order for him to benefit the
society in these hard times," Mr Shonga said.

The court, which was packed by music fans, surrounded Ngoma as he walked
out of court while those who listened to the proceedings from outside the
court house sang his songs to celebrate the ruling.

Ms Kabinga expressed the hope that the sentence would act as a warning to
other musicians engaged in drug trafficking.-Zana.


Pubdate: Fri, 31 Oct 2003
Source: Times Of Zambia (Zambia)
Copyright: 2003 Times Of Zambia
Contact: times@zamnet.zm
Website: http://www.times.co.zm/