Court Imposes Lenient Sentence

In what could be seen as a sign of leniency towards illegal aliens, Magistrate John Sindano imposed a suspended sentence on a Zimbabwean who pleaded guilty to conducting business in Namibia without a work permit. This was the second time Sindano imposed a wholly suspended sentence in the space of a couple of weeks.

Last month he imposed a wholly suspended sentence on a foreigner who was in Namibia after the expiry of his visitor’s permit, albeit only for a day.

This time around, Chigwete Tinashe was also on the receiving end of Magistrate Sindano’s good grace after he pleaded guilty to selling sweets and soft drinks without a permit.

He told the court he came to Namibia in search of greener pastures, but found the going tough which was when he resorted to selling sweets and soft drinks to make a living.

He said he was 23 years old and had a wife and 12-month-old baby in Zimbabwe. He pleaded for leniency and told the court he could only afford a fine of N$500.

Verinao Kamehene for the State also showed he has a softer side. He told the court that while the offence was indeed serious he asked that the court take the personal circumstances of the accused into account.

“I ask this court to understand the human frailties and the pressure of society that contribute to crimes of this nature. In this context I see mercy as appropriate,” he told the magistrate.

He said although the objective of sentence is deterrence, rehabilitation and retribution, these factors cannot be given equal weight in all circumstances.

In the present matter, he said, the accused offended for survival and it thus called for a suspended sentence to deter him from offending again.

Sindano concurred with Kamahene’s sentiments and sentenced Tinashe to pay a fine of N$3 000 or in default spend 12 months in prison wholly suspended for a period of two years on condition that he is not convicted of the same offence during the period of suspension.

Source : New Era