Zambia News

Benos receives 20-year sentence for killing Reeves Malambo

Benos receives 20-year sentence for killing Reeves Malambo, the owner of Autoforce.

Tshiabu Benos, who was convicted of murdering her lover, Autoforce owner Reeves Malambo, in 2017, was originally given the death penalty. However, she will now just serve a 20-year sentence of simple imprisonment.

This is due to the Court of Appeal overturning the High Court’s 2018 hanging verdict for Benos.

After taking into account the mitigating factors in the case where the defendant fatally stabbed the businessman following a dispute, the Court of Appeal changed the severe sentence.

“Having found that there were extenuating circumstances, we set aside the sentence of death imposed on her. In its place, we impose a sentence of 20 years,” the Judgement dated December 8 reads in part.

In addition, the Court of Appeal determined that Benos used force to thwart Mr. Malambo’s intrusive and humiliating examination of her private areas.

“It is our view that it can be extenuating circumstances for a woman who is resisting degrading treatment to inflict injuries in the course of that resistance, that turn out to be fatal,” the judgement delivered by Judge Chalwe Muchenga, on behalf of two others, reads in part.

Police in Lusaka detained Benos, 38, in February 2017 in relation to the death of Mr. Malambo, 48, at her Ibex Hill residence in Lusaka on January 28 of that year.

She later defended herself against the accusation in front of High Court judge Gertrude Chawatama.

The court heard testimony that after an altercation, Benos killed Mr. Malambo by stabbing him in the back with a sharp knife.

But Judge Chawatama discovered that she had a case to answer and put her in the defense.

The convicted person claimed in her defense that she stabbed Mr. Malambo out of self-defense during their altercation over his accusations of adultery.

She claimed that Mr. Malambo smelled her genitalia and put his fingers inside them to check if she had slept with any other guys.

In between sobs, the woman described their abusive relationship and informed the judge that she was unable to denounce him to the authorities because he controlled them.

She described how, on the relevant day, she had visited her ailing niece at the University Teaching Hospitals after attending church.

The woman claimed that after talking with her sister-in-law, she went to Rhodes Park to drink wine with her aunt while Mr. Malambo repeatedly called but she didn’t answer.

Benos claimed that she discovered messages in which the deceased asked her where she was and accused her of adultery in illegible language.

According to the defendant, her brother picked her up from Rhode Spark around 21:00 hours, and when she returned home, she discovered Mr. Malambo’s automobile parked in her yard.

Benos claimed that after arriving, she hurried to use the bathroom in her bedroom while Mr. Malambo followed her.

“As I was going in, I saw Reeves, who followed me in the bedroom. I noticed Reeves was locking the bedroom…I rushed in the toilet, Reeves stood by the door, when I saw him I pulled my trousers quickly as I was on my periods,” she testified.

Benos claimed that before pushing and slapping her, Mr. Malambo asked her where she had been.

She claimed that Mr. Malambo requested her to take off her clothes as he was hitting her so he could, as is customary, examine her privates to see if she had intercourse with another guy.

She replied in self-defense when an irate Mr. Malambo sliced her stomach twice with a knife, the court heard.

Benos, however, contested Judge Chawama’s decision to dismiss her defense and sentence her to death before the Court of Appeal.

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