Negligent driver appeals sentence  

Nyasha Dube 



AN UNLICENSED driver, who was involved in a hit and run which left a nine-year-old child seriously injured, has approached the High Court appealing his one-year jail sentence.

Afrika Sangaza was arrested last year after the vehicle he was driving veered off the road and hit and injured Dion Chirinda in Dulivhadzimu, Beitbridge.

Chirinda reportedly suffered left leg fractures, head and chin injuries and a dislocation in his right ankle.

Sangaza was arrested and charged with one count of negligent driving and one count of driving without a licence and appeared in front of Beitbridge Magistrate Vavariro Gabi, who sentenced him to a year’s imprisonment.

Sangaza cited the National Prosecution Authority and Gabi as respondents in the application he wants the High Court to overturn his sentence.

He claims that Gabi arrived at the sentence without any medical expertise to determine the true extent of Chirinda’s injuries.

Sangaza also claims that custodial sentence was harsh when alternative sentences such as a fine or community service would have been sufficient.

“In addition, I have been informed that the court a quo acted irregularly and with utmost unfairness by sentencing me to an effective one-year imprisonment where a sentence below 24 months has been imposed.

“There was less, if not none, consideration of any other alternative sentences such as a fine or community service under the circumstances. Such unfairness requires interference and ought to be set aside by this honourable court,” Sangaza said.

He also claimed that the sentence should be set aside as Gabi and the State had erred by not supplying medical experts or medical reports to corroborate the claim by Chirindira’s father that he had sustained those injuries.

“Further the court a quo misdirected itself by relying on non-existent evidence in dealing with evidence requiring medical expertise.

“The court solely relied on the testimony of Reuben Chirindira in determining the extent of the injuries suffered hence the nature of the sentence imposed.”



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