A FORTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD man in Nakonde District has been hacked to death by unknown people on suspicion that he was practising witchcraft.
Muchinga Province Commissioner of Police Lemmy Kajoba said yesterday that an axe was found stuck in the neck of the victim at the time police picked the body.
Mr Kajoba said the district had recorded seven murder cases in the last three weeks and that in the latest killing, police were holding four people identified as Espina Nangoyi, Joseph Sichalwe, and two others only known as Davies and Bornwell to assist with investigations.
Mr Kajoba said the four were believed to have murdered the 43-year-old man identified as Japhet Sichalwe.
He explained that three days before he was brutally killed, Mr Sichalwe had reported a case of harassment to the police before suing the four in the local court for branding him a wizard.
Mr Kajoba said after the four were served with summons from the local court, they allegedly attacked Mr Sichalwe who was found dead 1.5 metres away from his village.
The incident happened on Tuesday in Chief Waitwika's area.
Mr Kajoba said the deceased was found with a deep cut on his back and neck, and that investigations had been extended to other killings recorded in the district connected to witchcraft.
Last month, a 60-year-old man of the same district was shot dead by unknown people on suspicion that he was practising witchcraft.
Mr Kajoba said authorities in Nakonde had also embarked on a sensitisation programme to encourage the public to surrender illegal firearms in circulation and being used to commit atrocities.
He assured that no one would be arrested for surrendering the firearms which would be exchanged at a fee.