A 24-year-old youth has learnt a bitter lesson in Lusaka Local Court after it fined him K1, 000 for calling an 83-year-old man a wizard.
Senior Court Magistrate Lewis Mumba sitting with Magistrate Petronella Kalyelye at Matero Local Court ordered Siame Mutale of Lilanda compound to compensate Benson Katele, his neighbour, K1000 after he found him guilty of defaming him.
Katele told the court that Mutale on several occasions threatened to kill him on allegations that he was responsible for his late son’s death.
He explained that last year Mutale’s child died mysteriously and he accused him (Katele) of bewitching him.
Katele said that after the two stayed without talking to each other for a long time, he decided that the two should reconcile, which they did.
But after they reconciled, Katele was surprised last month when Mutale again started insulting him and threatened to kill him the way he had allegedly killed his son.
Katele’s granddaughter said Mutale was accusing his grandfather of practising witchcraft because of his old age.
She testified that she was present when Mutale insulted and threatened to kill her grandfather after accusing him of practising witchcraft.
However, Mutale denied ever insulting and accusing Katele of practising witchcraft.
He explained that though the two were neighbours, he never used to talk to Katele.
And Mutale’s wife Fostina Mutale, 22, said Katele naturally hated her husband. It was for that reason he accused him of insulting and calling him a wizard. Magistrate Mumba found Mutale guilty and ordered him to compensate Katebe with K1, 000 for defamation.