THE Ndola High Court has found former minister of Defence George Mpombo’s 17-year-old son guilty of shooting dead his pregnant girlfriend and beheading her.
The juvenile has also been found guilty of aggravated robbery.
In a judgment delivered yesterday, Ndola High Court judge-in-charge Emelia Sunkutu said the prosecution proved the charge of murder and aggravated robbery against the juvenile beyond any reasonable doubt.
Mrs Justice Sunkutu said the case will leave an indelible mark in the history of the Zambian criminal justice system.
“As I conclude my judgment, I cannot express the horror of this heinous crime not only to the family of the deceased but also to the Zambian populace at large.
“It is inconceivable that one so young would come up with such an evil scheme to take the life of another. I believe that nothing could describe the horrible act from someone so young. In fact it will definitely leave an indelible mark in the history of Zambian criminal justice system. I find you guilty on one count of murder according to the laws of Zambia for the murder of Ruth Phiri. I also find you guilty of aggravated robbery,” she said.
Mrs Justice Sunkutu said the murder was so wicked that the evil displayed should coincide with the justice system.
She said it is her prayer that no crime of this nature should be committed by another juvenile and that no else should suffer what Ruth’s family suffered.
Mrs Justice Sunkutu was satisfied that the juvenile unlawfully caused the death of Ruth with malice aforethought.
“It is clear to me that the finger of guilt is pointing towards the juvenile. This is because the evidence establishes the chain connected to him. Aside this, there is a chain of events connecting the juvenile to the deceased which cannot be described by mere coincidences,” she said.
Mrs Justice Sunkutu also said the juvenile also tried to cover up his tracks by quickly arranging a trip to Lusaka to make it appear that he was not in the area when the murder took place.
She also considered the motive and opportunity as Ruth was killed because she was allegedly pregnant.
Mrs Justice Sunkutu, however, said the evidence of pregnancy was not laid out before court.
In the first count, it is alleged that the juvenile offender on January 11, 2016, in Ndola, murdered Ruth.
In the second, it is alleged that the juvenile on January 16, 2016, armed with a firearm, attempted to rob Lewis Mpundu of his property.
Mpombo’s son is alleged to have stolen his father’s nine millimetre pistol, which he used to kill his pregnant girlfriend before beheading her.
Mrs Justice Sunkutu has set Tuesday next week as the date for sentencing upon submission of a social welfare report.
Meanwhile, the Ndola Magistrate’s Court has sentenced musician Mwaba Katongo, alias “Nice M”, to five years imprisonment with hard labour for burglary and theft.
The 30-year-old singer of the hit `Nganaponena’ was facing counts of burglary, theft and house-breaking.
Magistrate John Mbuzi yesterday convicted Katongo of house number 21A Mununga Crescent, Kansenshi in Ndola after he pleaded guilty to all the charges. READ MORE
Magistrate Mbuzi wondered why Katongo, a celebrity, could engage himself in criminal activities.
“What is surprising is that this convict does activities that can earn him money and he is a celebrity. He has an opportunity to make money. So, I will send you to prison to reform. I will sentence you in count one to two years, count two to two years and in count three to two years.
“The sentences will run consecutively. I will only suspend one year,” magistrate Mbuzi said.
In mitigation, Katongo’s lawyer Kenneth Tembo submitted that his client is a first offender, youthful and remorseful of his actions.
“Yes, I do understand the charge,” Katongo said in his plea.
“I pushed the door and entered. Yes, I did get the said items. I was under pressure and wanted to sell them. I was not allowed to get them. I had no claim of right,” Katongo said.
In the first count, Katongo on March 14 this year in Ndola, jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, broke into the house of Alpha Entertainments music producer Daniel Kufuna and stole a television set, ipad, xbox, hard drive, a Gotv decoder and a laptop, all valued at K13,310.
In the second count, Katongo on January 1 this year broke into Valentine Chilanda’s house and stole a television set, a GOtv decoder and a PlayStation all valued at K7,200 while in the last count, he broke into Victor Muyunda’s house and stole a television set, PlayStation, ipad, aerial, a GOtv decoder all valued at K10,000.