THE LUSAKA High Court has convicted two Zambia Army soldiers, a Zambia Air Force office assistant and a witchdoctor and sentenced them to death for carrying out ritual killings which resulted in the death of seven men in 2016.
After killing their victims, the group surgically snatched their ears, hearts and penises and now they will face the hangman for their heinous crimes.
Zambia Army warrant officer class two from Signal Squadron (Arakan Barracks) and his Solwezi-based counterpart Army staff sergeant Elvis Nyanga along with Zambia Air Force assistant Christopher Kasapo and witch doctor Lewis Chishimba Bwalya were convicted by Lusaka High Court Judge Florence Lengalenga this afternoon.
The trial has been on since 2016 but it only took five hours for Judge Lengalenga to pronounce a guilty verdict on all of them.
They were jointly charged for the murder of seven men.
At the height of their illegal and fatal surgeries that began on March 5, the four plied their norcuternal practice around George, Lilanda, and Matero Compounds in Lusaka sending fear in the hearts of residents.
As news of the group’s ungodly killing campaign spread, frightened men suspended all their out-of-home evening activities and would be under lock and key of their houses by 14:00 hours.
Living in a Christian nation, Zambian men domiciled in Lusaka also understood too well that their reproductive organs needed maximum protection since they were an important “tool” in carrying out the Biblical command of “filling the earth”.
But by April 16, seven unlucky and innocent men including Clever Changwe, William Chela, Elias Phiri, Boris Muzumara, Alex Zulu, Amon Sichamba and Anthony Mwape had lost their lives and the hands “Ma Setti” surgeons.
They were all killed in similar fashion with their hearts removed while their ears, and male organs were mutilated.
The murders eventually sparked unrest in Compounds around Lusaka in which foreign-owned businesses were looted and their owners displaced.
Police eventually arrested the quartet and pinned the murders on them.
After a five-year trial in which 21 witnesses testified against the four, judgment came up the Lusaka High Court this afternoon.
As Judge Lengalenga read the judgment, the four men sat in the accused dock together, masked against COVID-19 and observing social distance for the last time – the verdict sent them to the crowded Mukobeko Maximum Prison.
Judge Lengalenga concluded that the Prosecution team had proved it case against the group beyond reasonable doubt.
#CAPTION: three of the convicts are led to a holding cell after their conviction at the Lusaka High Court today – Picture by Salim Dawood
©Kalemba April 6, 2021