August 5, 2004

Christian 'witch' killers' sentence upheld

Zambia: Two Liberian men have lost their appeal against a 20-year sentence imposed on them for killing a woman accused of witchcraft. The pair had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted by the court. The killing happened during a prayer meeting after it became apparent that God was not rushing to act - the judge, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala , told them they should have waited for God to answer their prayers rather than killing the woman.

Facts before the court were that on December 18, 2000 at Makaka hill along Kabwe road, Emmanuel and Kolle were part of a group of the Power of Christ church when Phiri was brought to them by people who suspected her of being a witch.
The court heard that the group prayed for her so that the Devil could come out of her and asked her to confess to being a witch but she refused.
Emmanuel and Kolle later took up sticks and started beating her so that the Devil could come out of her, she later died from internal injuries.
In mitigation, the duo pleaded for the court's leniency.
They said the circumstances of the matter did not amount to a 20-year sentence because they wanted to remove the devil from the woman.

Justice Sakala told the court that thinking someone was a witch was no reason to take their life and that the court had the duty to minimise or eliminate the belief in witchcraft.

Supreme Court upholds refugees' 20-yr sentence - The Times of Zambia, 5th August 2004.

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This page contains a single entry by Feòrag published on August 5, 2004 5:40 PM.

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