24 January 2013

Zambia: Court Orders Psychiatric Test for Murder Suspect

LUSAKA Magistrate Nsunge Chanda has ordered for an urgent psychiatric examination on one of the four suspected murderers of a taxi driver, whose body was partially buried in Southern Province.

The taxi driver, Joseph Simfukwe, was beheaded and his private parts removed in one of the most gruesome murders recorded among public vehicle drivers.

Maybin Kapokola, 29, who was ordered for mental examination, had started behaving in a strange manner when he first appeared before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda.

He started shouting uncoordinated words in Tonga, chasing invisible images with his eyes popping out and continued nodding his head.

Mr Banda then re-allocated the matter to Ms Chanda who yesterday curtailed reading of the charges to the accused persons because Kapokola failed to compose himself and could not state his names, age or address when he was asked.

Kapokola, of Simavulundu village in Sinazeze, is jointly facing a murder charge and aggravated robbery with Chrispine Siakoonde, 25, of John Laing Township in Lusaka, Peter Sikangila, 42, and Jimmy Siajanika, 37, who are both business executives from Muntu Wamasiku village in Sinazongwe.

Ms Chanda said she was in possession of a medical report indicating that the accused was in sound state of mind but Kapokola continued shouting until the court was forced to make an order for re-examination at Chainama Hospital.

"Zwaa, Zwaa ndakuuma, mutandi toli ku Chainama kamuzwa," Kapokola shouted, meaning get out, I will beat you, don't take me to Chainama.

His co-accused Siakoonde told the court that Kapokola started behaving strangely from the time he allegedly committed the offence.

In the first count, Kapokola and Siakoonde are jointly charged with aggravated robbery involving a Toyota Corolla registration number ADB 1655 valued at KR25,000 from Joseph Simfukwe.

The vehicle belongs to Gift Milambo and the accused are alleged to have used violence on Hanif Ali, who attempted to prevent them from stealing the vehicle.

In count two, the four have been slapped with murder of Mr Simfukwe between December 22 and December 29 last year.

The Magistrate explained to the accused persons that she was only scheduled to explain the charges because their offences could only be tried in the High Court.

The case was adjourned to February 7 this year for mention.

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