A State Forensic Pathologist has testified in the Lusaka High Court that after examining the body of an unidentified victim, he found an opening below the rib cage with the heart and liver missing, while the ears and penis were cut off.
The witness further testified that victims in the suspected ritual killings case died from blunt force head injuries before their body parts were mutilated.
Mubanga Mucheleng’anga was testifying in the matter in which a 30-year-old man of Lusaka is accused of murdering seven people in suspected ritual circumstances.
Nickson Tembo, a street vendor of house number 143/13 in Lilanda West, is alleged to have murdered seven people in Matero Township.
Details of the matter are that the murders were done between December 2017 and February 2018.
When the matter came up before High Court judge Catherine Phiri, Wednesday, Dr Mucheleng’anga told the court that on a date he could not recall, he was tasked to conduct a postmortem on a body found in Matero which was brought to him by police officers.
He said he proceeded to conduct a postmortem after seeing the order from the coroner, adding that he procceeded to prepare a report which he handed over to police.
Dr Muchelenganga said after examining the body of the unidentified victim, he found a chop wound on the forehead, abrasions on the face, scratches on the skin and a fracture on the skull.
“There was an opening below the rib cage measuring 35 centimetres, the heart and liver were missing, the ears were cut off and the penis was also decapitated,” he said.
Dr Muchelenganga disclosed that after examing the body, a pot was taken to him by the investigation officer containing a heart that apeared and smelt as if it was cooked, and a liver.
He said he knew it was a human heart because the way it appeared was consistent with other human hearts he had seen.
“The samples were not sent for DNA testing, we needed an expert in forensics to tell us if we can extract DNA from the cooked samples,” he said.
Dr Muchelenganga said a reconstruction was also done to demontrate that the penis was chopped off from the victim.
He added that since the cooked organs were found at the crime scene, it was logical to infer that they may have been obtained from the deceased.
Dr Muchelenganga further testified that other postmortem reports conducted on several other bodies by his fellow pathologists showed similar results as the one for the unidentified victim.
He told the court that findings from postmortems conducted on the bodies revealed chopped wounds caused by a sharp instrument leading to fractured skulls and brain bleed, which was the cause of death.
The witness identified some of the victims as Mabvuto Phiri, Levis Mwabuka and Jack Tembo.
Published: April 19, 2016 By: Paul Shalala – Africa blogging
Tired of discovering mutilated dead bodies, some Lusaka residents recently protested over what they term as lack of protection from the Zambia Police Service (ZPS) following the suspected ritual killings which have claimed six lives in the past four weeks.
Residents of Chunga township took to the streets chanting anti-Police slogans and calling for the killers to be arrested and jailed.
“We want these satanists to be arrested and killed. We have lost too many people and we cannot allow this to continue,” said one of the protesters who identified himself as Chimwemwe.
Today’s protest was triggered by the discovery of a mutilated body of 30 year old Anthony Mwaba of George township which was lying in a pool of blood. ZPS Deputy Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga confirmed that Mwaba’s private parts, heart and ears were removed by his killers and his body was dumped 500 meters away from his house.
“The body had no heart, both ears and private parts. We are making an earnest appeal to residents of George compound to remain calm and cooperate with the Police as we are working and trying with all legal means at our disposal to resolve this heinous crime as soon as possible,”said Hamoonga.
The wave of suspected ritual killings started on 17th March this year when four bodies of men where discovered in an area called Paradise within George township. The four had their private parts and ears removed and this annoyed the residents who protested and burnt down a Police Post in the area forcing Police officers to run for their lives.
A few days later, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja visited the area and pleaded with the residents not to take the law into their own hands. Mr Kanganja later offered a K50,000 reward for anyone who would provide information leading to the capture of the criminals.
Since then, the Police has intensified patrols in the area but this has not deterred the killers. So far, Zingalume, Chunga, Lilanda and George townships are the areas where the killers are said to be terrorising residents.
The total number of people who have been brutally murdered and have their body parts removed are six: four had their ears, hearts and private parts missing while two had only hearts missing.
Five FM radio journalist Mike Sichula who has extensively covered the recent killings says two other bodies which were found in the area but had all body parts intact, are not in the Police tally for ritual murders.
“There are only six confirmed ritual killings including today’s. Those others were ruled out. There was the bar case where one was strangled and then the one who was found in his apartment,” said Sichula.
These killings have sent fear in the areas where bodies have been picked and residents are said to be getting indoors as early as 18:00hrs for safety. The speculation is that the killers are either business people involved in the trade of body parts or are serial killers who are taking pride in killing people for the sake of killing.
In July 2012, a 19 year old student at the National Institute for Public Administration in Lusaka, Ruth Mbandu, was brutally murdered and her naked body had its eyes and ears missing while her facial skin was peeled off.
Her lifeless body was dumped in Emmasdale, an area which is three kilometers from Zingalume, the area where the current ritual murders are taking place. Four years later, Ruth’s case is still before the courts of law and it has not yet been concluded.
TV2 reporter, Patricia Mapiki, who has extensively covered murders in the suburbs of Lusaka, says the latest cases of suspected ritual murders actually started in October last year.
“Paul, the killings in Zingalume started in October last year. Remember the 53 year old lady who was killed, then the albino, then another lady in February this year and then the four victims on 17th March,” said Patricia.
She points out that the pattern of these killings suggests that there is coordination. “What is worth noting is also that the bodies are dumped in the same area, raising suspicion that the slaughter is just in one area,” she added.
Police have so far not arrested anyone in connection with the killings and they have also not recovered the missing body parts.
Related: Four male bodies with missing private parts picked up in Lusaka
Published: March 17, 2016 By: News Desk – Zambian Eye
Police in Lusaka this morning picked up four male bodies with missing private parts and ears in George compound near a place called The Paradise.
Police Spokesperson Charity Munganga-Chanda disclosed this in a statement made available to Zambian Eye Thursday morning. She said the two out of the four have been identified as Alex Zulu and Alias Phiri aged 21 and 18 years respectively. They were both last seen on 16th March 2016 around 18:00 hours.
The bodies were discovered by members of the public and had multiple head injuries. Preliminary investigations indicate that the deceased were dumped in the area after being murdered from elsewhere. The incident is suspected to have happened between 23:00 hours on 16th March and 06:00 hours 17th March 2016.
The bodies are lying at UTH mortuary.
“We are appealing to members of the public with information leading to the apprehension of the perpetrators to report to the nearest police station,” said Munganga-Chanda.
As explained below, this is not with certainty a ritual murder case. We have to be careful not to judge too quickly and only accept clear facts before concluding that another albino person has become victim of superstition. Unfortunately, there are too many examples in Zambia and other African countries that the life and safety of a person living with albinism are in danger and are being threatened on a daily basis. This explains the reaction of the Albino Community in Zambia. People have a right to live without fear. That’s a human right. (webmaster FvdK).
Masked criminals have killed a medical Doctor Lewis Chola, an albino person who was attached to the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka in circumstances that has shocked his family and send fears to the Albino Community in Zambia.
The masked assailants abducted Dr. Chola, from his home in Kalingalinga in the evenings on 3rd January, 2019.
Information gathered suggest that the abductors later demanded for a 5000 Kwacha ransom from his Family before killing him and dumped his body near a Lodge in Kapiri Mposhi.
The deceased body had no parts missing to suggest that his killing could be a ritual murder but the Albino Community through Gift Sakala, a representative of the Albino Multipurpose corporative, the Zambia Police has been called upon to thoroughly investigate the matter.
Cases of suspected ritual killings in Lusaka are on the increase – Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja assures the public of protection but cautions against contentment.
Published on February 27, 2018
By CHILA NAMAIKO and FRANCINA PHIRI Times of Zambia
CASES of suspected ritual killings in Lusaka seem to have resurfaced, with Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja assuring members of the public of protection but cautioned against contentment. Mr Kanganja has assured that security personnel are conducting patrols throughout the night, and has called on members of the public to report any suspicious looking persons to Police.
At the weekend, police in Lusaka picked up the body of an unidentified male person in Paradise area of Matero without private parts, ears, while the stomach was ripped in a suspected ritualistic fashion.
Three weeks ago, another unidentified man was discovered dead with ears and private parts missing and the stomach ripped open in yet another suspected case of ritual killing in Paradise area of Matero.
Meanwhile, Police in Chienge District of Luapula Province have picked up body parts of a two-year-old toddler who was allegedly murdered by a 22-year-old man while acting together with two others who are at large.
Outgoing police commissioner Hudson Namachila said police found a heart, lungs and an ear in a pit latrine on Saturday between 06:00 hours and 08:00 hours.
Incoming provincial Police chief Elias Chushi also confirmed the incident.
Mr Kanganja warned the criminals behind such barbaric acts that the law would catch up with them as Police were working round-the-clock to ensure the people of Matero were protected. He said in an interview yesterday that people in affected areas should not leave in fear because Police had divided Lusaka into zones. Through the zones, the Inspector General said the officers were conducting intensified patrols throughout the night. “I wish also to urge members of the public to constantly collaborate with the Police by reporting all suspicious looking characters in their areas,” he said.
He said the criminals behind such barbaric acts live in communities and called on members of the public to be vigilant and report suspicious persons to police.
Mr Kanganja warned that criminals would not be allowed to commit cruel acts with impunity and officers had intensified patrols to bring to book the culprits.
For the body that was picked up on Friday, police have apprehended a male aged 29 in connection with the murder after the body was discovered around 04:00 hours by members of the public. Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said the suspect, who lived in the same area, was found washing some blood off his hands and was currently detained in Police custody. Upon searching his home, police found two pairs of trousers and a pair of shoes all stained with blood and other items yet to be subjected to forensic investigations to ascertain if they were human parts or tissue.
In the Chienge incident, Mr Namachila said that after instituting investigations, the police apprehended Lucky Kafwimbi of Mukunta village who revealed where they had hidden the body. He said that physical inspection showed that the body had a lung cut and his left ear was removed. Mr Namachila named the deceased as Gift Chola of Chief Puta’s area in Chienge Village. “Police managed to apprehend one man who helped in revealing where they had hidden the body of the baby that they brutally murdered for suspected rituals,” he said.
Unfortunately, Zambia is no exception. Ritual killing of human beings – children, adults – takes place in Zambia too. I’ve been following events in Zambia since quite some time. Many suspected cases of ritual killings as well as real cases have been reported over the years. Without a shadow of a doubt the tip of the iceberg – as in many other countries. Many ritual murders are not discovered, or not reported as such. One of the cases in my archives dates back to 1996. An excerpt: “(…) Early this year, another spate of mob justice hit the country, especially Lusaka and the tourist capital Livingstone, after children started disappearing. Some of the children were later found, horribly mutilated. These murders were believed to be ritual killings. Angry mobs again took their justice, beating to death some suspects who the police say were innocent. This ended only when the police arrested and had several men convicted.(…)“
More in the near future. Read here (below) one of the more recent cases. Matero lies a few miles west of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.
Readers are warned, the details are gruesome.
Ritual killings, superstition, mob justice, absence of rule of law, ignorance, they’re all interrelated. Let’s hope that the Zambian government continues on the good road taken, as shown by the appearance in Parliament and the frank statements of Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo.
Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo: “Between October 21, last year, and February 24, this year, seven suspected ritual killings were reported to Police (…)”
CANNIBALS IN MATERO?…POLICE RECOVER COOKED HUMAN HEART, LIVER AFTER ARRESTING A SUSPECTED RITUAL KILLER IN LUSAKA
Published on March 2, 2018
By CHILA NAMAIKO and JANE MWANSA Times of Zambia
A COOKED human heart and liver have been recovered by police in Lusaka after arresting a suspected mastermind in the spate of suspected ritualistic killings of seven people in Matero, Parliament heard yesterday.
Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo said some of the cooked body parts were eaten by the suspect, who also shared with his unsuspecting neighbours.
Mr Kampyongo informed the House that the suspect also led the officers to the recovery of ears and several private parts, which had now been submitted to the forensic laboratory for examination. Updating the House in a ministerial statement on recent suspected ritual killings, he said all the victims of the murders were found with their chests ripped open and internal parts missing.
He said the security situation in Matero was generally stable until October, 21, last year, when the first suspected ritual killing was reported.
Between that date and February 24, this year, seven suspected ritual killings were reported to Police, with the victims in all the incidences had been males aged between 25 and 40 years. “By 24th February 2018, the Zambia Police Service investigation unit had with the help of the suspect recovered suspected cooked human heart and liver, “he said.
Mr Kampyongo said police visited and processed the crime scene, and preliminary findings suggested that the people behind the gruesome murders used the same method of killing.
For instance, at every crime scene, a concrete block was found. The officers believe the same block was one of the weapons used.
“The ripping open of the chest, cutting off of the ears and the private parts also appear to have been conducted in a similar manner. The preliminary findings suggest that these murders have been carried out by the same group,” he said.
Mr Kampyongo warned that false beliefs of human body parts helping one to accumulate wealth had no place in Zambia, and the law would catch up with the perpetrators.
To bring the perpetrators of such barbaric crimes, the House heard that police had instituted investigations, which had so far resulted in the arrest of one suspect.
He said the suspect, believed to be the master-mind, was assisting the officers with further investigations and would appear in court soon.
Police had taken a number of measures to enhance security in Matero such as foot patrol and motorised patrols, increased presence in high-density townships, and sensitisation to members of the community on personal security. He assured the public of police protection.
Meanwhile, residents of Kitwe woke up to a rude shock yesterday after a human head was found along the banks of the Kafue River.
When contacted for a comment, Copperbelt Commissioner of Police Charity Katanga said police were waiting for the family of the deceased to come and identify the head. And scores of residents living near the river thronged the scene to have a glimpse of the bizarre finding, which was later picked up by police.