A CHIBOMBO peasant farmer has been sentenced to death by the Lusaka High Court for killing his two children.
Julius Mucheki caused the death of Julius Mucheki Junior and Erika Mucheki who he poisoned after being divorced from his wife.
Mucheki committed the offence on September 17, 2013 but denied the charges, claiming the children died after drinking tea which could have been prepared using contaminated water.
Mucheki, who equally took the poison, informed his former wife about his poisoning of the children because he was not happy with the divorce.
Mucheki also bade farewell to some of his relatives and informed one of his uncles that he had left a list of his creditors.
Lusaka High Court judge Chalwe Mchenga said in his judgment that there were no extenuating circumstances in favour of Mucheki but that he intentionally poisoned the children so that they could die.
Mr Justice Mchenga said he did not think that being bitter with a divorce could diminish the moral guilt of a parent who killed his children by administering a pesticide.
Clara Mbuki, mother of the children, had narrated how she took her former husband to court seeking divorce on account of mistreatment she suffered at his hands.
After the divorce was granted, Mucheki called her and told her that he was going to commit suicide and not long after that, Mucheki’s mother called her and informed her that Mucheki had called informing her that he was going to kill the children, Erika and Julius Junior.
Ms Mbuki said that around 18:00 hours of the same day, a neighbour called her and told her that Mucheki had taken poison and also given some to the children.
She also received a message from Muchiki bidding farewell and informing her that he had taken poison and given some to their children.
In his defence, Mucheki denied deliberately poisoning the children claiming the children could have ingested the pesticide when they took the tea that was made with contaminated water.
Mr Justice Mchenga said according to his findings, the pesticide was not accidentally ingested by the children through contaminated water but was deliberately administered to them by their father.
He sentenced Mucheki to death.
Meanwhile, three people have died, while two others including a nine-months-old baby, sustained injuries in a road accident in Mbala of Northern Province.
Police spokesperson Charity Munganga said the accident involving a Toyota Vista registration number ACP 1880 happened on Monday around 15:00 hours.
Ms Munganga said the victims were walking along the side of the road when they were hit by the vehicle.
She said the injured baby was on the back of one of the deceased pedestrians, while the other injured person was a passenger in the Toyota Vista.
Ms Munganga said the driver was arrested and charged for causing death by dangerous driving, while bodies of the three were at Kasama General Hospital. The injured had been admitted to the same hospital.
Times of Zambia