Five people charged with the murder of a Mansa businessman Wilbroad Chishimba in Luapula Province during the April riots in the area have appeared for trial in the High Court sitting in the district.
Before High Court Judge Timothy Katanekwa sitting in Mansa yesterday were Paul Musamba, Judith Chama, Idah Kabwe, Mukonde Chali and Peter Chama.
ZANIS reports that this is after the matter was committed for trial by the Subordinate court of the second class in Mansa district to the high Court.
During trial, the Prosecution called a 17- year-old-boy of Musumali Village in Mansa to testify in the murder of his uncle, Chishimba who was killed in the riots.
Augustine Muneka is now crippled after allegedly being beaten by the same mob that killed his uncle.
On that fateful day, the witness told the Court that a mob of people led by Paul Musamba, one of the accused, went to his uncle Wilbroad Chishimba’s house shouting on top of their voices saying, “Today he is also going to die.”
The witness who said he was only able to identify three people told the court that his uncle was dragged from his house to a place where petrol was poured on him causing him to be burnt.
He also told Judge Katanekwa that he lay unconsciously for a week bleeding from the nose and mouth after being stoned at the back of his head by the accused persons.
He said those who beat him up had mistaken him for Wilbroad Chishimba’s elder son Ranger Chishimba.
When cross examined by the Defence Lawyer, why his statements were conflicting with what he had said earlier, the witness responded that there was no way he could tell lies to the court after all that he went through during that period.
He added that before the incident happened, he was physically able and was going to school and walking on his own, but that he was unable to walk and go school any more, a situation he said he could not tell lies about.
At this moment the witness’s statement sent his relatives who were in court to tears.
Another witness, John Muneka 38, the younger brother to the deceased, said even though he was not there at the death of his elder brother and only saw him at the mortuary he still remembered when his father told one of the accused Paul Musamba that he was a bad person.
Mr Muneka told the court that the family was going through a difficult time during that period for no one could even greet them for fear of being victimised by the rioters.
The witness said this, after he was asked by Defense Lawyers as to why only relatives of the deceased were testifying in court.
The matter continues today.