My friend was burnt by gays, witness tells court

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A FUEL attendant has narrated to the Lusaka High Court that before breathing his last his friend Samson Njovu of Chilenje revealed that his house was torched by a group of well known same sex practitioners.

This is in a matter where Raymond Siwale, John Mambwe, Pathius Phiri, Frank Chisamba and Haggai Chola are charged with murder and two counts of arson.

It is alleged that on May 21, 2023 the quintet murdered 25-year old Samson Ndhlovu after he turned down their love proposals.

In count two the five are accused of setting fire to a dwelling house valued at K70, 000 belonging to Audrey Mwachiyaba between May 19 and May 20, last year.

Allegations in the third count are that Siwale, Mambwe, Phiri, Chisanga, and Chola on the said dates burnt household items valued at K130, 435 belonging to Audrey Mwachiyaba.

Testifying before High Court judge Charles Kafunda, Albert Mkandawire a fuel attendant at Total Filing Station in Chilenje narrated that on May 19 after attending his friend’s birthday party in Kabwata he decided to proceed to a night club for some cold beers.

He said when he got to Anna Chela bar, he found his peers seated in groups and he stumbled upon the now deceased Samson who was seated with his two friends; James and Gilbert.

“There was a group which were called “Ga Gays’, one of them was Chimba. I interacted with Chimba who offered me a bottle of Black label. Samson pulled me by the hand and said?; ‘why are you been found with these gays, don’t you know that these people are useless?” James admonished me for being found with gays when I had a beautiful girlfriend,”Mkandawire said.

He said after socialising with the rear door group for about eight minutes, he went home and left the two groups drinking.

Mkandawire said the following day he received a phone call from Samson’s uncle who asked him to accompany him to UTH where the deceased was admitted to help in quizzing him about the incident and establish his attackers.

“On his hospital bed ,Samson said “Albert, those friends of yours who gave you beer, the gays are the ones who did this to me” . Immediately after he uttered those words,he became unconscious,”said Mkandawire.

“We know them(accused persons) in the whole compound that they are gays. It’s because of their behavior and dressing, that’s why we believe they are gays.”

And uncle of the late Samson, Gabriel Chishimba, said his nephew informed him that he was burnt by a group of gays and his friends Albert would help in identifying and locating them.

“The neighbours took me to where Albert stayed in Chilenje township. I asked asked Albert where they were with Chama (Samson) the previous day. I took Albert to the house where Samson was burnt from,” Chishimba said.

“When we reached the hospital, we got permission from the nurses around 16 :00 hours so that we could have a chat with Samson.”

He said following the disclosure made by the deceased relating to the incident he and Mkandawire reported the matter to Chilenje police station but prior to that police officers within the hospital recorded a statement from his nephew.

“Prior to his death, he was in good health.
From 20:00hours, the police only managed to apprehend the alleged gays from their house around 01:00hrs. Five males were apprehended. The next morning, with the view to see the patient, we found that he had died,” said Chishimba as he broke down.

“His whole body was burnt, he struggled to talk,I could tell that he was in pain.”

Trial continues today.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba January 25, 2024.

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