Sumbawanga — A RESIDENT of Fyengelezya village in Sumbawanga Municipality in Rukwa Region, Raphael Kazumba, was on Friday jailed for seven years for accusing his brother Wilbert Kazumba of being a wizard and threatened to kill him, disrupting peace in the area.
The District Magistrate's Court in Sumbawanga was informed by the prosecution that Kazumba threatened to kill his brother Wilbert accusing him for allegedly bewitching their young brother, who died at Christ the King Hospital where he was admitted for treatment.
The Prosecutor, Assistant Inspector of Police Emanuel Shani, showed the court medical reports that precisely stated that the deceased died from malaria and typhoid. Presenting the verdict, Magistrate Adam Mwanjokolo told the court:
"This case was heard exparte and here I'm reading its judgment in exparte... it is very apparent that the accused committed the offence according to the evidence produced by prosecution.... On top of that the accused decided to jump bail.
"This means that he is aware of what he did and ran away, therefore I hereby avow that the accused person is found guilty and convicted forthwith for the offence he is facing... Therefore, the accused is sentenced to a seven-year term imprisonment as per section 4 (a) and 5 (1) of the Witchcraft Act CAP 18 as amended by Act No. 12 of 1998", ruled the trial magistrate.
The magistrate said that the sentence would serve as a lesson not only to the convict but also to others who may attempt to commit similar crime in future. When the accused was arraigned in court for the first time, he pleaded "not guilty".
According to Mr Shani, on July 19 at Fyengelezya village in Sumbawanga Municipality, at around noon the complainant, Wilbert Kazumba, was with his wife Nastellah Pesambili at their residence when they received the bad news that his brother , Richard Kazumba had passed away at Christ the King Hospital, where he was admitted for treatment.
That shortly later, the complainant and his wife rushed to Kazumba's parents for burial ceremony as the body of the deceased arrived at around 1700 hours. According to the prosecutor, the convict, Raphael Kazumba, brought the body of the deceased to their parent's house and announced before the mourners that his brother Wilbert was the one who killed the deceased and threatened to kill Wilbert.
According to Mr Shani, it was at that juncture that a furious Raphael Kazumba chased away his brother Wilbert together his wife. "Although the accused has no previous criminal record, I ask the court to punish him severely. The sentence will serve as a lesson to others who harbour similar evil feelings disrupting peace in communities," the prosecutor requested the court.