A WITCH doctor has told the Lusaka High Court that senior investigation officers at Lusaka Central Police offered him a house and K300,000 to frame two soldiers, Lucky Siame and Elvis Nyanga, in the murder of seven men in Lusaka.
Lewis Chishimba Bwalya of Kalundu, Lusaka West, told justice Florence Lengalenga that the police charged him with seven counts of murder because he refused to connive with them in framing Siame and Nyanga for the ritual killings that hit Lusaka in 2016.
In this matter, Bwalya is jointly charged with Siame, Christopher Kasapo, a Zambia Air Force office assistant and Elvis Nyanga, for the alleged murder of seven men between March 5 and April 17, 2016 by removing their hearts and mutilating their ears, and male organs.
In his defence, Bwalya narrated that on April 17, whilst he was sleeping at his home, he heard a knock on the door to which he asked who it was and someone responded they were police officers.
“I dressed up and went to check who was at the door and indeed I noticed it was the police. They asked if I was Lewis Chishimba Bwalya and I confirmed and they told me they had come to pick me up. I accompanied them to Matero Police Station where I was detained for 30 minutes and later taken to Northmead Police,” Bwalya narrated.
He told court that at 10:00 hours on a Sunday, he was taken to Lusaka Central Police Station where police officers requested him to assist them.
“They started telling me that ‘we want you to help us as police, we should work together and put our minds together. We want you to assist us. There are suspects we have apprehended, we will show you these suspects so that you know them and you should assist us at court’. They also told me that because I’m a witch doctor, I should tell the court that I gave the suspects charms for cleansing evil spirits. I told them that my job as a witch doctor was that of selling charms and not for cleansing,” Bwalya narrated.
“I told them that I can’t stand as a witness against people I don’t know. They got me and put me in a cell. After 10 minutes, they called the captain of the cells. They brought another person and I heard them say this person should not mix with me. The person was badly beaten and was handcuffed and limping. I only came to know this person at court as Lwambazi Mumbo.”
Bwalya said on May 9, 2016, he was taken to Woodlands Police Station where the police officers read a statement to him in English and asked him to sign it.
Bwalya said he told the police officers that he could not sign the statement because he does not understand English.
“They told me it was for the record’s sake that I sign the documents to which I complied as I had the thought of going home,” Bwalya said.
He recounted that on May 29, the police officers picked him up from the cells and took him to force headquarters for interrogations.
“The boss offered some chips and a drink (Fanta) and asked me to be calm. After I finished eating, they (police) asked me to be a state witness and testify against the two soldiers, Siame and Nyanga and frame them for murdering people in Lusaka’s Zingalume area,” Bwalya said.
“They offered to buy me a house in Kasama and a K300,000. I refused to be a false witness because I am a Christian but the police officers insisted that I testify against the soldiers and they would tell me what to say before court. They said that I should tell the court that Siame and Nyanga came to me for exorcism but I refused because I didn’t want to sin in the eyes of God as it was a heavy burden.”
Bwalya said the police officers decided to give him three days to think about their proposal and after three days they asked him if he had made a decision but one of the officers said he was a fool and was wasting their time to which he was later detained.
He said before he was apprehended, Jabes told him that information had circulated that people were being murdered and their body parts were being sold to Indians and Chinese in exchange for dollars.
Bwalya said he decided to inform his neighbour Kasapo about what was going on.
“Kasapo was my neighbour in Zingalume. We used to live in the same yard while I knew Siame and Nyanga when we were jointly charged. I am asking this court to consider my evidence,” said Bwalya.
In cross-examination by state advocate Frank Sikazwe, Bwalya denied selling male organs saying Jabe was the one who informed him about the killings and he informed the police.
He denied being cautioned by Lwambazi Mumbo, a witch doctor, against killing his uncle in case they met him anywhere.
The matter comes up on December 29.