A couple of senior chief Sailunga’s area in Mwinilunga district has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment each with simple and hard labour respectively for causing the death of a 70-year-old woman on suspicion that she had bewitched and killed their six year old son.
Before Kitwe based high court Judge Maka Phiri sitting in Solwezi were Asah Kalimukuya, 31, and Tyson Kalimukuya, 34, who were jointly charged with one count of murder contrary to section 200 of the penal code cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
The both denied the charge when it came for hearing before trial started.
Particulars of the offence were that on 23rd February 2013, the two jointly and whilst acting together murdered 70 year old Lizzy Kasusuti by kicking, slapping and hitting her with a stick on suspicion that she had bewitched and killed their son.
Ms. Justice Maka Phiri said the two had malice aforethought when committing the unlawful act of assault with the manner they beat up the old woman for more than five hours. The beating resulted in her death.
The Judge found the couple guilty of the offence of murder and convicted them accordingly.
Ms. Justice Maka Phiri noted that killing old people on suspicion of witchcraft was a common practice and that the court needed to send out a strong warning by imposing severe punishment to act as a deterrent measure to would be offenders.
She said she was sending the two to jail for 30 years each because their belief in witchcraft was an extenuating circumstance that did not warrant the ultimate sentence of a death penalty.