The Ndola High Court in Zambia has convicted a juvenile offender who forced his step father to drink doom after alleging that he bewitched his mother.
In this matter, the juvenile was jointly charged with Vincent Bwalya and Charles Chali for the murder of Charles Mwewa.
Bwalya and Chali were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour while sentencing for the juvenile awaits a report from the social welfare department.
According to evidence in court, a report by the public health analysis revealed that a chemical substance was found in Mwewa’s organs during autopsy examination.
The substance was identified as doom.
Sisters to the deceased who were present at the time of the incident said the juvenile, who was Mwewa’s step son, went to his place in the company of his uncles to confront their brother on his mother’s mental illness.
The court heard that when Mwewa resisted, the juvenile offender requested Bwalya to get a bottle which had doom and hand it to Chali, who later forced Mwewa to drink it.
It was further heard that after drinking the poisonous substance under duress, the juvenile offender further ordered Bwalya whom he called “commando” to tie his step father with rubbers.
Bwalya, Chali and the juvenile offender then took Mwewa to 20 village, where he eventually died.
In their defence, Bwalya, Chali and the juvenile offender denied forcing Mwewa to drink doom, stating that he drunk doom as a way of committing suicide.
When the matter came up, Ndola High Court judge Mary Mulanda found the three guilty of murder.
However, Judge Mulanda found that there were extenuating circumstances during the commission of the offence.
This was because a witchdoctor had told Bwalya, Chali and the juvenile offender that Mwewa bewitched his wife with a mental illness.
“I am satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. I find Bwalya, Chali and the juvenile offender guilty of the offence and convict them accordingly,” judge Mulanda said.
In sentencing Bwalya and Chali, Judge Mulanda said she took note of the mitigation but also expressed concern with the manner the crime was committed.
“I sentence you to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from December 20, 2019. In respect of the juvenile offender, I order that social welfare report to be submitted on August 2021,” Judge Mulanda said.
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