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Two Men Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting 83-Year-Old to Death in Zomba

Police in Zomba district have arrested two men for allegedly assaulting to death an 83-year old man, Starch Chiondeka on accusations that he had a hand in the death of their relative.

The duo has been identified as Simon Chakuma, 22 and Charles Chiwanda, 35, both from Chiondeka village, Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba district.

It is reported that on July 3, 2023 Bernadette Chikauma, 18(relative of the suspects), died whilst receiving treatment at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. During the burial ceremony some of the women who were assigned to put the dead body into the coffin alleged that Chikauma’s body was sweating an indication that she was still alive.

The rumours prompted the relatives to postpone the ceremony hence consulted a pastor, Humphrey Mphatso who in the process mentioned Chiondeka ( now the deceased) to have been behind the death of their relative.

The duo were furious with the news and went to assault Chiondeka till he became unconscious who was later rushed to Chamba Health Centre before he was referred to Zomba Central Hospital where he died on July 8, 2023, whilst receiving treatment.

A postmortem conducted at the same hospital revealed that death was due to head injuries.

The two have been charged with murder and will appear before court after completion of paperwork.

Meanwhile police in the district have also launched a manhunt for the said pastor whose full particulars are yet to be known. Once found he will answer charges of inciting violence.

Furthermore, Police are appealing to the public for any information that may lead to his arrest.

Credit: Sergeant Aaron Chilala
Zomba Police Station Deputy Public Relations Officer

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Edgar Naitha
Edgar Naitha
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