Chief Kasoma Lwela of the Ushi-speaking people of Chembe district in Luapula Province has been sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour for manslaughter.
Before High Judge Mubanga Kondolo was Rasford Chita, 56, who is Chief Kasoma Lwela, together with four others namely Albert Matobwe, 44, Nicodimas Kalumbwa, 73, Venn Chilufya, 60, and Luka Chilufya, 58, all charged with manslaughter.
Particulars of the offence are that on November 4, 2014, Chief Kasoma Lwela while acting together with the four other persons unlawfully and wilfully caused the death of Bishili Ngandwe contrary to Section 199 Cap 87 of the Penal Code of the Laws of Zambia.
Facts in the matter are that the chief had summoned Ngandwe to his palace where he was accused of practising witchcraft, which he denied.
The chief later ordered his subjects to tie Ngandwe’s hands and legs and then to tie him on to a pole where he was whipped.
In mitigation the lawyer representing the chief and others pleaded with the court to be lenient with the convicts, saying they are first offenders and were remorseful.
He said his clients had learnt their lessons while in prison and asked for a second chance in life to be better people in society.
In passing judgment, Judge Kondolo said he took into consideration their mitigation that they were first offenders and deserved leniency.
He sentenced the other co-accused persons Matobwe, Kalumbwa, Chiulufya and Chilufya to three years which he however suspended.
Judge Kondolo sentenced Chief Kasoma Lwela to three years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from date of arrest.
He said he hoped that the sentence served as a warning to other traditional leaders that killing of their subjects would not be tolerated by courts.
The judge said those found wanting including chiefs will be punished accordingly.