A 42-YEAR-OLD man from the hamlet of Mukumbe in the Nakonde district of Muchinga province has vanished and is currently thought to be dead after allegedly being subjected to torture by the village headman and three other people on the assumption that he had stolen several hens.
In front of his family, Charles Siame is said to have been beaten and tormented with electrical current coming from a motor.
The family believes Siame died as a result of the abuse he underwent at the hands of Whiteson Siame, the village headman, at his home.
Following the torture, family told police that they and other community members had been asked to leave the headman’s house, but that they had been compelled to return three days later to find out why the victim hadn’t been released.
When questioned, the headman claimed ignorance; at that point, the incident was reported to the police.
Police have already detained the 73-year-old village head man while conducting a search for the victim.
Police have reported a case of suspected murder that happened on March 7th of this year at around 21:00 hours in Mukumbe village, according to Muchinga Province Commanding Officer Kaunda Mubanga.
He claimed that Siame’s younger brother informed him that Siame had vanished after being forcibly detained and tortured by the headman and three other men on suspicion of stealing some hens.
“Brief facts of the matter are that on March 7, at around 07:00hours, the now missing person and presumed dead was apprehended and taken to the residence of the Village Headman on suspicion that he had stolen some chickens.”
“At the Headman’s residence he was interrogated and tortured in the presence of his relatives and other members of the community using electricity current from a fully charged motor vehicle battery which was connected to an inverter in a bid to make him disclose where he had taken the chickens,” he said.
Mr. Mubanga clarified that the younger brother who reported the incident claimed that the older brother had become so weak and worn out from the beatings and torture that he could hardly speak or stand up by himself.
He claimed that later that evening, at 21:00, the village headman scattered the residents and ordered his three security guards to watch over him as he was bound to a tree with his wrists and legs also fastened together.
“His relatives went back to their respective homes and waited until on March 11th, this year when they went back to the Village Headman to inquire about the whereabouts of the their relative. To their surprise, the Headman expressed ignorance. Hence, they became suspicious and reported the matter to Nakonde Police Station for assistance. Acting on the report, Police officers from Nakonde Police Station booked out to Mukumbe village where they picked up the Village headman who upon being interviewed could not give satisfactory answers,” he said.