A PEASANT farmer in Mbala has been shot dead by assailants who accused him of being a wizard.
The suspects, who are on the run, used a shotgun to shoot the farmer at point-blank range twice in the head, while in his house.
Northern Province police chief Mary Chikwanda confirmed the incident which happened on Tuesday, and indicated that the brutal killing was the second murder this week after a man in the same area killed his wife after a domestic dispute.
Ms Chikwanda identified the shooting victim as Gilbert Mwambazi, 52, of Sementi Village. "He received a fatal gunshot to his head, another shot in the chest and the third on his left hand," Ms Chikwanda said.
The unidentified gunman in the company of other assailants stormed Mr Mwambazi's house around 19:00 hours on Christmas Day and found him seated in the kitchen with his wife.
After accusing him of being a wizard, the gunmen opened fire on Mr Mwambazi forcing his wife to flee to safety.
In the other incident, a woman of Senior Chief Tafuna's area in Mbala was beaten to death by her husband after a quarrel.
The deceased was identified as Beauty Nakapite, 30, of Shichanda Village.
Her husband Evaristo Sichula has been arrested for murder and will appear in court soon.
In, Lundazi, a 61-year-old headman has been hacked to death by his nephew.
Eastern Province police chief, Grace Chipalila identified the victim as Benson Tembo who is headman Mudidi of Chief Mphikamalaza.
He was murdered by his nephew Tryson Tembo aged 38, who used an axed to strike the headman twice on his head.
She said the incident happened after the two differed when the nephew claimed that he was the rightful person for the position of headman.
Ms Chipalila said police had since launched a manhunt for Tryson who was on the run.
Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man has died after being struck with a stick on the head by a 14-year-old boy in Chipata.
Ms Chipalila confirmed the incident which occurred around 23:00 hours on Monday at Chindime Village in Chief Chanje's area.
Ms Chipalila says that Mufayo Banda was hit with a stick by Waxon Chirwa in the camp house locally known as "Dambwe"where they were camping as the Gule wamkulu group members.
Ms Chipalira said that Banda died on the spot and his body was currently lying in Chipata General Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem.
She said that the suspect was on the run and police were investigating the case.