Court News

Soldier denies ritual murders

By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA

ZAMBIA Army soldier, Lucky Siame has denied murdering seven people in suspected gruesome ritual killings that  rocked Matero Township in 2016.

Siame told the Court that he only admitted to the charge of murder during a police interrogation because of the torture he was put through.

“ I never committed any offence that is before this honourable Court,” he told the Court.

This is in a matter in which Siame, Lewis Chishimba Bwalya a witchdoctor, Christopher Kasapo, a ZAF office assistant and Elvis Nyanga, a soldier of Solwezi are facing seven counts of murder.

The four are alleged to have murdered Clever Changwe Mwape, William Chela, Elias Phiri, Alex Zulu, Boris Muzumara, Amon Sichamba and Anthony Mwaba between March 5 and April 16, 2016.

High Court Judge Florence Lengalenga has placed the four on their defence after they were found with a case to answer.

In his defence yesterday, Siame told the Court that during an interrogation, he was stripped naked and put on a swing commonly known as a kampelwa in local language, poured cold water and beaten with short burtons.

He said on April 21, 2016, because of the torture and beatings he requested to be taken to Sikanze police camp clinic  where he was attended to.

Siame however could not produce a medical report as proof before the Court.

On April 22, 2016 , Siame said one of the officers came with 10 steel nails and a hammer and was told that he had been given ample time to disclose what he knew.

He said that he was told that he would not be spared as all the nails would be pierced in his toes.

He claimed a nail was pierced on his left big toe.

“The pain was too severe, I felt very bad, then they told me to tell them about the ritual killings and that if I didn’t, he would continue to nail all the toes,” he said.

“Because of the pain, I feared for my life and my body to be mutilated, that is when I told them that I knew the people who were behind the ritual killings,” he said.

Siame said the officers then told him that there was no way he could just know the ritual killer and that the more he kept denying being one of them, the more they continued to torture him.

“That is when I told them I was one of them (ritual killers). Immediately I told them that I was one of them, they stopped all the beatings and nailing and they told me that had I told them in the first place, they wouldn’t have reached as far as that,” he said. Siame denied knowing Bwalya and Kasapo and only knew Nyanga as a colleague who worked in Solwezi.

He also denied leading the Police to the murder scenes.

“The Police were telling me what to do and they kept saying that they had all the information on their fingertips,” he said.

Siame admitted knowing the traditional doctor Lwambazi Mumbo who reported the matter to the police. But he denied hiring Mumbo to cleanse his home from the ghosts of the murder victims that haunted his home.

He said he only hired Mumbo in 2015 to cleanse his home when he shifted to ZECCO camp because there were spirits haunting the house.

Siame said his co-accused Bwalya was on May 31, 2016 taken to the Police force headquarters were he was offered K300, 000 and promised a house if he turned into a State witness.

He said since the case started, no one has come forth to point at him as the killer nor have the alleged private parts harvested from the victims been brought before the Court as proof.

Judge Lengalenga adjourned the matter to December 22, this year for continued trial.

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