Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nephews burn uncle to death over ‘witchcraft’

By Ernest Mwape in Mpika for Sunday Post Online

A 65-year-old man has been torched to death in Mpika after his two nephews accused him of witchcraft.

Police sources confirmed the grisly killing of Justine Bwalya Jere of Mwamba Chintu village in chief Mpumba’s area.

Jere was accused of bewitching Chibeka Ng’onga, who died in a road traffic accident.

Police sources who named the two suspected killers as Luckson Chilekwa and Kaleta Chalwe said the incident happened last Friday around 18:00 hours.

The sources said the duo found Jere drinking beer at the roadside and accused him of being a wizard who caused the death of Chibeka.

According to police, the duo dragged their uncle to a nearby village where they hit him with an iron bar in the head before pushing him inside a small grass thatched house and setting it ablaze.

Police sources, who said Jere was burnt beyond recognition, disclosed that officers from Mpika police station had visited the scene of crime.

The sources added that a doctor had to conduct a postmortem on site because the body was badly burnt and could not be taken to a hospital mortuary.

According to police, the postmortem revealed that the victim was hit in the head with an iron bar.

He said officers that had visited the scene believe that Jere may have died before his nephews pushed the body in the grass-thatched house, which they later set on fire.

The sources said the two suspects were on the run, but warned that police would catch up with them since they were known.

When contacted for a comment, Northern Province police commanding officer Mukuka Chewe expressed ignorance on the matter.

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