By DELPHINE ZULU
THE Lusaka High Court has jailed a Mansa traditional doctor, who is partially mentally ill, to eight years imprisonment with hard labour for killing his nephew.
Joseph Mukumba, 33, was convicted on one count of murdering his five-year-old nephew and assaulting four family members using a knife on January 29, 2006.
High Court Judge Florence Lengalenga had earlier sent Mukumba to Chainama Mental Hospital for psychiatric examinations as he showed signs of mental illness during trial.
He is alleged to have murdered his nephew in full view of his family before injuring other four family members on grounds that he was acting under a spiritual belief which asked him to kill six family members.
“I will exercise leniency on you on grounds that doctors at Chainama have certified that you are partially insane, this does not mean that you will go free, a life was lost in an unexplained manner, I now sentence you to eight years imprisonment with hard labour,” Ms Justice Lengalenga said.
In mitigation, Mukumba said on the material day, he heard spiritual voices telling him that he was going to die on that particular day and that he should not be buried alone but with at least five family members.
Mukumba said when the voice persisted, he was forced to get a knife from the kitchen. He stabbed his wife Dema Banda and four other family members before killing the nephew whom he stabbed with a knife four times in his chest.
“I was under an evil spirit, these are unpredictable behaviours and I did not know what I was doing on the material day, may the court exercise leniency, my family will suffer if sent to jail, I have learnt how to control myself in an event that I find myself under a similar attack,” Mukumba pleaded.