4 December 2012

Zambia: Three Get Life Sentence

THE Kitwe High Court has sentenced three youths to life imprisonment for beating three people to death.

The three descended on elderly people after suspecting them of practising witchcraft.

High Court Judge Judy Mulongoti sent to jail Beddnigal Kapeshi 28, Best Kanyakula 20 and John Lubozha 28 all of Kasempa for murdering three people in separate incidents.

Kapeshi and Kanyakula, both farmers had beaten to death Pardon Munanga 62, and Edson Masonde, 78, on October 30 last year.

The deceased were cousins.

Evidence in court was that charms known as 'mumone' were administered on the coffin of Winnie Kabinga who died a day after complaining of abdominal pains.

The charms were meant to lead pall bearers to a person suspected to have bewitched the deceased.

The court heard that the pall bearers were led to Mr Munanga's house where a mob descended on him with sticks and plucked his eyes out before killing him.

The mob later descended on Mr Masonde who was visiting Mr Munanga and beat him until he became unconscious. He died later.

In sentencing the duo, Ms Justice Mulongoti said the deceased persons were treated like animals and that the accused persons showed no remorse in the gruesome murder of the two elderly men.

"I shall, therefore, impose a severe sentence to act as a deterrent to other would-be perpetrators of such offences and I impose a life imprisonment," she said.

In another case, Lubozha was accused of murdering Lwisi Kapaka, 65, after beating him with a pounding stick on March 22 this year.

The court heard that Lubozha, who appeared drunk and had sachets of 'Tujilijili' beat to death Mr Kapaka after suspecting him of bewitching his cousin.

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