Lusaka pastor arrested for assault and arson. Mathews Nkwema, 40 together with his co-accused Moses Ntokonya a bricklayer have been sent to jail by Lusaka Magistrate Mwandu Sakala for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and arson.
A Lusaka pastor of an unknown church who assaulted another man on account of practising witchcraft has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour.
The duo assaulted 48-year-old Penias Zulu who is also a pastor and traditional healer and his wife Monica after having accused them of practising witchcraft.
On January 15 last year, Nkwema and Ntonkanya allegedly assaulted Zulu and his wife Monica and occasioned them with actual bodily harm.
On the same date, the duo set Zulu’s church and toilet ablaze leading to loss of property worth K14, 600.
Evidence before the court was that on a material day in the evening, Zulu went to bath outside using lucky charms.
While he was throwing away the charms by the roadside after he finished bathing, Zulu was approached by Nkwema and Ntonkanya.
The duo queried him on what he was doing and he explained that he was from bathing using lucky charms. Nkwema and Ntonkanya accused Mr Zulu of being a witch and alerted the neighbours.
A mob then pounced on Zulu and his wife and also burnt his church and toilet. Zulu was left unconscious and only served by a passer-by who proposed that the matter be reported to the area chairperson.
Nkwema and Ntonkanya denied the charge but the court found them guilty and convicted them accordingly.
Magistrate Sakala jailed the two to two years imprisonment with hard labour for arson and a year and four months in jail for assault but the sentences will run concurrently.
Earlier in mitigation, the duo asked the court to exercise leniency because they are breadwinners and first offenders.