By ROGERS KALERO
MYSTERY surrounds the assassination of a Lufwanyama man, Kendrics Safeli, whose body was left hanging on a tree.
Relatives of Mr Safeli, who was also Lufwanyama District Examination Officer, have ruled out suicide and strongly believe that their relative was murdered by assailants who had earlier attacked him less than a week before.
While Mr Safeli’s relatives have dismissed rumours that he was murdered by people who thought he had strong evidence linking them to the examination malpractice such as leakages, but other people insist that could well have been the motive.
However, Copperbelt Police Chief Charity Katanga said the police needed to be given time to investigate the matter, as it was too soon for the police to issue statements on the suspected murder.
Matilda Safeli, the young sister to the deceased told the Daily Nation at the funeral house number C143 Mikomfwa Township in Luanshya that her brother was murdered by people who had earlier attacked him less than a week ago and got some money from him.
Ms Safeli said , after realising that he had recognised them, the assailants decided to go for her brother and made sure that he was dead because if he had continued living, he could have reported them to police. “We came to know that our brother was earlier attacked by some people, who got money from him, but these assailants realised that he had recognised them and could report to police.
”So they came for him to finish him off on Wednesday. This is the information we have and as a family, his death is a big blow. He is survived by a wife and six children,” Ms Safeli said.
And narrating the ordeal, one of Mr Safeli’s nieces said on the fateful day, Kendrick was attacked by some youths believed to be the same people who attacked him, less than a week earlier, but was rescued by police officers who were carrying out some operations in Kalulushi. When police officers noticed that he had scratches and needed medical attention, they took him to Kalulushi clinic near the market. At the clinic, he demanded to be discharged so that he could go home, but the guard told him to take a rest until it was morning. But he insisted on going home, forcing the guard to go and seek permission from the nurse in charge.
“So when the guard went to seek permission from the nurse, Mr Safeli took the opportunity to sneak out. It was after walking for a short distance that his assailants pounced on him again, beating him to death.
“After they had beaten him to death, they hung him on a small tree using his torn shirt to create an impression that he had committed suicide. But there is no such kind of suicide. No, my uncle was murdered,” the niece said.
She said, the street where he was beaten to death, was notorious for fights between drunks and so people could not come out to rescue him even after shouting for help because they thought it was one of the usual fights.
“The other thing is that the assailants were following closely and even when the police rescued him earlier, they continued following. So when he was taken to the clinic, they were aware that the clinic would not admit him. So they waited to pounce on him when he came out, and this was what happened,” she said.
His elder brother, Justin Mulenga said the family strongly believe that the deceased did not commit suicide, but was murdered
Mr Mulenga however, said although the family believed that the deceased was murdered, they would wait for the post-mortem results.
Mr Safeli was murdered on Wednesday in suspicious circumstances and social media has been awash with suggestions that his death was linked to leaked examinations. It is being suggested that the people behind the leakages were afraid of being exposed.