By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE –
THE State has urged the Supreme Court to uphold the death sentence slapped on a Kasempa man by the Solwezi High Court for killing his two children.
Donald Fumbelo has, however, pleaded with the court to set him free, saying he was not in his right frame of mind when he hit his two children aged three years and another eight months against the wall of their house until they died.
Fumbelo of Kasempa in North-Western Province was in May last year sentenced to death by hanging by High Court Judge Isaac Sitali in Solwezi after he found him guilty of murdering his two children.
Fumbelo killed Mercy and Fulezya, after he repeatedly hit their heads against the wall and stepping on Mercy’s body after claiming that God had communicated to him while he was praying that He (God) was annoyed.
Brenda Zimano, 32, mother of the girls and wife to Fumbelo, told the court that in March 2011 they were together with their six children seated in their house when Mercy and Fulezya started crying.
Zimano put one of the girls on her back and the other on her lap while her husband took over preparing nshima.
She said after eating, they went to bed and Fumbelo demanded that they pray before sleeping.
Zimano narrated that in the middle of the prayer session, Fumbelo grabbed and squeezed her by the neck claiming that, “God is annoyed” and lifted her before hitting her against the wall.
She said that Fumbelo later threw her in a fire which was in the bedroom on the floor leaving her burnt.
Zimano said that Fumbelo then carried their two children and banged their heads against the wall.
In defence, Fumbelo pleaded with the Court to set him free claiming that he was not in his right state of mind when committing the offence.
Fumbelo said there were extenuating circumstances that led him to behave in the manner he did after he picked up a quarrel with his wife.
The State objected to Fumbelo’s argument but urged the Court to uphold the sentence, saying his defence was a lie and an afterthought as he had killed innocent children who were not even involved in the quarrel with his wife.
Judge Gregory Phiri, who sat with two other judges Evans Hamaundu and Florence Lengalenga, wondered how possible it could have been for Fumbelo who had even cooked nshima for his wife to have picked up a quarrel with her that resulted in the killing of the two children.
Mr Justice Phiri reserved the sentencing to a later date.