Friday, 6 July 2018

Alleged Tokota Boys Drug Supplier Gets Six Months For Marijuana

By Paul Shalala
Bright Kafula

For the second time within two months, a suspected drug dealer has been given two different sentences in two different courts for the same crime.

28 year old Bright Kafula of Kitwe’s Kwacha Compound was arrested on 22 May, 2018 with 51 rolls of marijuana which the Police weighed and found to be 6.4 kilograms.

Kafula, who is popularly known as Kamasu, is believed to be the main supplier of drugs to criminal gangs like the Tokota Boys, the 90 Niggas and the Sons of the Devil gangs which have wrecked havoc in Kitwe, a major mining town and Zambia’s second largest city.

Over 60 gangs members are before various courts appearing for several cases such as rape, assault, unlawful wounding, idle and disorderly conduct, among other charges.

And Kafula is suspected to be the main supplier of drugs to these gangs which are mainly composed of teenagers and beat Kitwe residents at night in neighbourhoods where they have "shared" territory. 

Few days after being arrested, Kafula was taken to the Kitwe Magistrate’s Court.

Police handed over the 6.4 KGs of the marijuana to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) which prosecutes such cases.
The bag containing 51 rolls of marijuana
which Police officers found in Kafula's house

However, State Prosecutors at the court filed an affidavit which charged Kafula with trafficking 6.4 grams of marijuana instead of the 6.4 KGs Police found him with.

During trial, the suspect admitted having trafficked the drugs and pleaded for leniency.

On 30 May, Kitwe Magistrate Dominic Lesa found Kafula guilty and sentenced him to two months imprisonment but he suspended the sentence for 24 months.

This judgement was based on the 6.4 grams.

This judgement shocked Police officers who had arrested Kafula with the 6.4 KGs marijuana which he had hidden at home in a bag popularly known as Ukwa bag.

But when Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga heard about the judgement, she  complained that the evidence Police collected was not what was presented in court.

Ms Katanga told this blogger in an intyerview at the time that Police were shocked and disappointed that the 51 rolls of marijuana which was found in Kafula’s house weighed 6.4 kilograms and not what Prosecutors presented in court.

"This is so disappointing. We catch a criminal with drugs and go and reduce the evidence in court. We are shocked at the way this case has been handled. We are appealing this case so that the High Court can review it and see if the suspect can be tried for the real crime he was arrested for," said an angry sounding Katanga.
A Ministry of Health analyst confirms 
receiving 6.4 KGs

The audio of her disappointment can be heard in this television report this blogger did for Zambia's state broadcaster TV1 on 31 May 2018.

Later, the National Prosecution Authority appealed the case to the Kitwe High Court so that Kafula can be tried again.

But at the end of the judicial review, the Kitwe High Court quashed the  24 months suspended sentence slapped by the Kitwe Magistrates’ Court on Kafula and replaced it with a six months jail term with hard labour.

Kitwe High Court Judge Timothy Katanekwa said the decision by the Kitwe Magistrates Court to suspend a sentence for someone who accepted trafficking in drugs shocked him and defeats the purpose of the court.

Passing judgement, Justice  Katanekwa said he arrived at the judgement considering the 6. 4 grams which he was charged with and the fact that Kafula had accepted the charge and was a first offender.

However, when the case went before High Court Judge, State Prosecutors pressed for the review on the charge Kafula was facing so that it can reflect the 6.4 KGs of marijuana instead of the 6.4 grams.

The court later called for specialists to analyse the drugs which were before court.

But the High Court still did not find grounds to admit the argument by the state to admit the 6.4 KGs.

This is despite the fact that Sumbukeni Kowa, an analyst from the Ministry of Health confirmed receiving 6.4 kilograms of marijuana which the DEC provided to him for analysis as part of evidence in court.

But in his judgement, Justice Katanekwa says the argument that Kafula was found with 6.4 KGs of marijuana does not stand because the affidavit filed by Kowa cannot be relied upon.

Judge Katanekwa's judgement
Justice Katanekwa says the analyst did not weigh the drugs as expected and he has decided to base his judgement on the 6.4 grams which the suspect agreed to have trafficked.

It is however unclear whether the National Prosecution Authority will further appeal the Kitwe High Court's judgement to the Supreme Court especially that Kafula has again been sentenced based on a lower amount of drugs than he was found with.

With this six months jail term which is effected from his day of arrest 22 May 2018, it means Kafula will walk out of the Kamfinsa Correctional Facility in Kitwe in November this year.

He is reported to be a close friend of Mwamba Siame, a top "Commander" of the Tokota Boys criminal gang whose 20 members where caught on video assaulting a teenager and forcing him to eat his own faecal matter for belonging to a rival "The Hundreds" gang.

Siame, who is popularly known as Mayweather in the gang, has been on the Police "Most Wanted List" since May 2018 as he is the one who violently beat the teenager with stones and sticks in the video which went viral on social media.

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