Woman testifies in soldier murder trial


A WITNESS on Tuesday testified in a case in which a soldier is accused of killing his wife that she received a text message from the deceased, just before she was found dead, asking her to go to her house immediately.
Hellen Kauta, 30, told Kabwe High Court judge Elita Mwikisa that on March 6, 2013 around 17:30 hours, she received a text message from Rachel Banda, the deceased, asking her to go to the house and break the lock to collect what was on the bed.
This is in a case in which Sydney Mumba, a private in the Zambia Army, is alleged to have, between March 5 and 6, 2013, murdered Ms Banda, 24, a charge he has denied.
Ms Kauta told the court that after receiving the message, she tried to call back but there was no response.
She said another message was sent to her asking her to go to the deceased’s residence as it was important.
Ms Kauta said the night before, around 20:00 hours, she had gone out to a bar with Ms Banda and Mumba in Bwacha Township.
After the drink up, Ms Banda and her husband went to their house while Ms Kauta also went to her home.
Ms Kauta said after receiving the message on the material day, she went to Ms Banda’s house in the company of her brother Simon Mushwalo and his friend Happy Ngosa.
She said the two men broke down the door and when they entered the house they found Ms Banda lying on the bed with a pillow on her face and her arm hanging out.
Ms Kauta said she reported the matter to the police
Another witness, Simon Mushwalo, 20, said that on March 6, 2013, he accompanied his sister to the deceased’s house where he broke the door and found Ms Banda lying on the bed.
And a police officer told the court that on March 8, 2013, while he was at Bwacha Police Station, he received a phone call from an informer that the suspect they had been searching for had been spotted in Dallas residential area in Kabwe.
Miseal Chikapa said upon receiving the message, he went to search for Mumba in the company of other police officers.
He said he found the suspect in a bush in Dallas area, after which he apprehended him and later cautioned him over the alleged murder of his wife.
Mr Chikapa said after a search, Mumba was found with a Nokia phone belonging to the deceased and some of her personal items.
Another police officer Rogers Kafula said on March 6, last year, he found Ms Banda’s lifeless body lying naked with the tongue was protruding from the mouth and some liquid mixed with blood coming out.
Mr Kafula said the bedding also had some spots of blood.
The case was adjourned to February 18, 2014 for continued trial.


Times of Zambia