Court News

I was offered a house, says accused ritual murderer

By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA

A MAN accused of being a ritual murderer accused has told the court that the police offered him a house and K300, 000 as payment for him to turn into a State witness.

Lewis Chishimba Bwalya,45, a traditional healer said he was twice taken to the Zambia Police Service headquarters where he was offered an opportunity to turn from an accused to a State witness.

In this matter, Zambia Army soldier Lucky Siame, Bwalya, Christopher Kasapo, a ZAF office assistant and Elvis Nyanga, a soldier of Solwezi are facing seven counts of murder which occurred in Lusaka’s Matero Township.

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.

When the matter came up for continued defence before High Court Judge Florence Lengalenga, Bwalya denied committing the offences.

Bwalya said on April 17, 2016, he was picked from his house in Lusaka West and taken to Matero Police Station and later to Northmead police station where he spent a night.

He said was taken to Lusaka Central police station where a warn and caution statement was recorded and he denied the charge of murder.

“At Lusaka Central, the Police told me to work together with them in the investigations. They said they will show me the suspects who they apprehended so I assist in court. I was told to say that the three suspects came to me to look for medicine for cleansing purposes as they were being haunted by ghosts,” he said.

Bwalya said he refused to heed the instructions and told the Police that he did not know the people in question nor the offences. He said he only knew Kasapo since they were neighbours.

He said between May 29 and 31, 2016, a number of police officers came to pick him from Chimbokaila.

Bwalya said the officer in charge refused to release him until the officers signed in the book as it was not allowed to pick a suspect from prison.

He said he was taken to Police Service headquarters in room five where he was offered chips and a drink by a senior officer.

He said because of the hunger in prison, he did not wait to feast on the food.

“That I should say that the two soldiers, (Siame and Nyanga), were behind the killings in Zingalume. And that government will buy me a house in Kasama and K300, 000. But I refused,” he said.

Bwalya said he was again on June 2 taken to Police Service headquarters but he refused to be a state witness.

It was then that the police described him as a foolish man who was wasting their time.

He denied allegations that the private parts or organs which were removed from the victims were taken to him and sold in US dollars.

Ms Justice Lengalenga adjourned the matter to December 29, 2020 for continuation of defence.

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