By KETRA KALUNGA
THE Kabwe high court has sentenced three men of Serenje to death by hanging for murdering a 70-year-old woman by burying her alive.
Particulars of the offense are that on 6th April, 2017 Aaron Ngosa, Kelvin Mwewa and Lyson Kunda jointly and whilst acting together murdered Jean Bangwe contrary to section 200 of the laws of Zambia.
In passing the judgement, high court judge in-charge Charles Zulu said the trio murdered Jean by burying her alive under the belief that the deceased was practicing witchcraft and was accused of bewitching his nephew, Oscar Musonda aged 39 years.
Judge Zulu described the killing as premeditated as the accused were with a sober mind when they took turns in digging the grave after which they buried the victim alive.
He further said the murder of Jean Bangwe showed that the three accused had no regard for the law of the land, therefore their case deserved capital punishment which was a sentence to death by hanging.
According to the judgement, the accused severally pleaded not guilty to the charge, however it was not in dispute that with common design the trio killed Jean Bangwe on allegations that the deceased had previously killed six of her brothers through witchcraft and thereafter extended it to her nephew, Oscar Musonda.
Oscar was ill with sores and visited the clinic but was not helpèd so he decided to visit several witch-finders among them one from Congo DRC who allegedly told him that his deceased aunty, Jean Bangwe was supernaturally responsible for his illness.
The three accused in their testimony which they respectively gave on oath and without any witnesses, said the accused personally told them that she was ready to die to end the spell of death in the family caused by her witchcraft practices.