A 29-YEAR-OLD traditional healer of Senanga has been given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for one year, for causing the death of his patient after a failed fertility treatment.
This is in a case where Simenda Imbula, who was charged with the murder of Monde Matomola, on August 8, 2014, was appearing before the High Court in Mongu.
When the matter came up last Wednesday, Justice Eddie Sikazwe reduced it to manslaughter after an application by the defence.
Case particulars state that on August 5, 2014, Matomola, in the company of her husband and other relatives, visited Imbula to seek healing for a fertility problem that had been bothering the family for years.
The court heard that Imbula administered a concoction that made Matomola to start scratching her body due to persistent itching.
And in a bid to stop the itching, Imenda administered another ‘medicine’, which, however, made the deceased to start vomiting.
The health of the deceased continued to deteriorate and three days after the ‘treatment’, she was taken to Senanga District Hospital where she died on arrival at the reception.
Imenda was later arrested for murder, contrary to section 200 chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
In mitigation, Imbula, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, said he regretted his actions and was, therefore, considering quitting his job.
He also asked the court for leniency, saying he has three children and 14 dependents that had been left by his deceased brothers.
Imbula, who presented to the court a copy of his practising certificate from the Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia, has been practising since 1998.
“I have reflected on my action as I have been in custody since my arrest on August 8, 2014. I will consider quitting my job because this is the first time such a thing has happened in my career,” he said.
In his judgment, Mr Justice Sikazwe urged Imbula not to quit, as the community needed people like him.
He, however, cautioned Imbula to be careful in the way he administers herbs.
“ I have heard what you have said in mitigation, but I will urge you not to quit. I therefore sentence you to two years, suspended for one year, from the time of your arrest,” he said.