Woman killed…as assailants cut open pregnancy, steal baby


A SEVENTEEN-year-old expectant mother has been brutally killed with her assailants forcibly removing a live baby, which they got away with.
The deceased, identified as Lucy Zimba of Chama District in Muchinga Province, was last seen on July 25, 2013 at Chama District Hospital, where she was admitted awaiting delivery.
She had been missing for 10 days before her body was discovered in a decomposed state with her stomach cut open. A knife was suspected to have been used in the act.
Muchinga Province deputy commissioner of police Tulenji Nyirenda, who confirmed the incident yesterday in an interview, said police were holding a woman, who was allegedly found with the victim’s baby boy, and a traditional healer from the same village to assist with investigations.
Mr Nyirenda said Lucy was reported missing by relatives after she failed to show up at home as she had gone to the hospital and a search at the hospital yielded nothing.
Health personnel at the hospital confirmed to family members having attended to Lucy before she disappeared around 13:00 hours the same day that she was admitted.
Police instituted investigations and later discovered the decomposed body in the hills, five metres from the boma, with deep cuts. Family members have already identified the body.
Police had received a tip from members of the public that a woman believed to be barren was seen with a newly-born baby boy.
“Following our investigations we were informed that a woman who was not pregnant suddenly had a baby and as police we moved in and the baby was recovered and is currently in hospital,” Mr Nyirenda said.
The two suspects were identified as Esther Nkhata, 48, and Matthew Nkhata, 40, and police were still trying to establish the relationship between the two, both of Mtayachalo Village.
Police, however, established that the arrested woman was a cousin of the deceased and that she had gone to the hospital where she convinced the victim that her labour was taking long and she needed the help of a herbalist.
She was secretly taken away from the hospital only to meet her death.
In Lusaka, a 36-year-old woman was in the early hours of yesterday found dead in her home in Chilulu area.
Police acting spokesperson Esther Mwata confirmed the death of Mary Phiri believed to have been murdered by her husband identified as Frank Miti who was currently on the run.
“It is believed that Ms Phiri went to drink beer within Chilulu and her husband followed her. But yesterday morning, the woman was found dead with bruises and blood oozing from the nose and the husband is missing.
“It is sad that despite a lot of sensitisation, cases of gender-based violence are still on the rise and police will not relent in punishing perpetrators. We appeal to the public to assist with information that can lead to the arrest of the run-away husband,” Ms Mwata said.
The body was taken to the University Teaching hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem.