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ACTING Chief Tafuna of Mpulungu and seven others have been sentenced to death for brutally hacking and burning, his uncle, who was chief at the time and another person.

The two died on the spot after the incident sparked by a power struggle.

In a judgement handed down by Ndola High Court Judge Yvonne Chembe, Chief Tafuna Raphael Sikazwe and seven others were additionally sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for attempted murder.

In the death sentence, the chief and his accomplices hacked to death and burnt the body of his uncle, Mr Benson Mukupa Kaoma and Ribos Chifunda.

They also burnt and hacked Mr Peter Sinyangwe who survived the brutal attack.

The others are Clement Yambayamba, Israel Sikazwe, Patrick Musonda (who died in remand), Onisha Namwinga, Arnold Katie, Maureen Namwinga and Martha Chabala.

The incident happened in Mpulungu on June 2nd, 2016 at Isoko Village.

The acting chief got incensed when he noticed Mr Mukupa Kaoma (deceased) being escorted by armed police officers to assume the instruments of power on a throne he had been holding as acting chief.

The acting chief and a horde of his supporters descended on Mr Mukupa Kaoma and his entourage as other subjects scampered for safety.

He then dragged him outside and together with a mob burnt him and later went into hiding.

Justice Chembe said in a packed court that the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and that she was satisfied that Sikazwe and the seven accomplices brutally hacked Mr Kaoma and Mr Chifunda and burnt them in a very inhuman manner.

The convicts were charged with two counts of murder contrary to section 200 of the penal code CAP87 of the laws of Zambia and one count of attempted murder contrary to section 215 of the same code. Justice Chembe also noted that it was foolish for Minister  State House Affairs then Northern Province minister Freedom Sikazwe to have ordered the withdraw of the police from the scene of crime at Isoko Village,  when the atmosphere was tense.

Justice Chembe said the action by Mr. Sikazwe can be cited as interference in the police mandate to keep law and order.

“Mr. Sikazwe testified in court that on the material day the incident occurred he had issued instructions to police to move out of Isoko Village. The police had provided escort for the installation of the degazetted Chief Tafuna at his palace in Isoko Village and the atmosphere was volatile. If the Minister did not order police to withdraw, the murder of Chief Tafuna would have been prevented,” she said.

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