TWO Chipata gemstone dealers have been condemned to death by hanging for drowning and killing a Lundazi mine owner who they were working for.
Lusaka-based High Court judge Nigel Mutuna, sitting in Chipata last Friday, noted the brutality with which Joseph Banda and Ashanti Tonga drowned their employer, Armstrong Nyirongo, in a ditch.
Mr Justice Mutuna said the duo deserve to hang by the neck until pronounced dead.
“I have considered the circumstances in which the deceased met his death and the brutal manner in which he was killed. The only suitable sentence for you is to hang by the neck until you are pronounced dead,” he said.
Banda and Tonga were charged with one count of murder in the death of Mr Nyirongo.
Case particulars are that on January 13, 2015, Banda and Tonga killed Mr Nyirongo by drowning him in a deep ditch which was filled with water. The duo also tied their boss’s left leg with a rope which they fastened to a stone.
The two suspects were arrested at a guesthouse in Broadway where they had been selling gemstones and were detained at Chipata Central Police Station.
The court heard that a post-mortem revealed that Mr Nyirongo was alive when he was thrown into the ditch and that he died after drowning.