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 unknown 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 practicing witchcraft to which he denied.
The Chief later ordered his subjects to tie Ngandwe on the hands and legs and then tied him on top of pole where he was whipped.
In mitigation the lawyer representing the chief and others pleaded with the court to be lenient with the five saying they are first offenders and are 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 judgement, Judge Kondolo said he took into consideration their mitigation that they were first offenders and deserved leniency.
He sentenced the other co-accused persons Albert Matobwe, Nicodimus Kalumbwa, Venn Chiulufya and Luka Chilufya to three years but suspended sentences and Chief Kasoma Lwela to three years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from date arrest.
Judge Kondolo said he hoped that the sentence serves as a warning to other traditional leaders that killing of their subjects will not be tolerated by courts and those found wanting including chiefs will be punished accordingly.