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Not only in Liberia
Ritual Killing Zambia (> 10 cases reported here)

Freedom of fear is a human right
Rule of law an obligation of the state


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  1. Ritual killings, the rule of law and mob justice: the Chambishi riots new

    A local businessman, Reuben Nkandu, his nephew Dauti Katongo, a shopkeeper named Graham Kabangazhi and an unidentified middle-aged man were killed by an angry mob in Chambishi Town on the Copperbelt. The latter was accused of being part of a group of businessmen that was behind a spate of ritual killings in Chambishi. Also the other three victims were accused of involvement in ritual murders.

    The violence, looting and killings started on July 31 after the burial of a resident of Zambia Compound. Neighbors suspected it was a ritual murder. The mob accused the police of corruptly releasing individuals allegedly linked to ritual murders.

    Police on the Copperbelt on Saurday September 1 arrested 110 residents of Chambishi in connection with the riots and the killing of the four people, because 'police cannot tolerate people taking the law in their own hands.' A few days later four more were arrested for allegedly participating in the riots that rocked Chambishi Town over the weekend in which four businessmen suspected to be involved in ritual murders were burnt to death, their shops looted.

    Also in June 2011 a mob in Masala Township in Ndola caused a riot burning the property of a local businessman suspected of foul play and involvement in the 'sacrifice' of a 17-year-old boy.

    More on the Chambishi riots:

    4 more nabbed for torching people
    September 4, 2012

    Chambishi residents riot again

    September 3, 2012

    Tension grips Chambishi after anti-satanism riots
    September 3, 2012

    Probe Chambishi looting, killings
    September 3, 2012

    4 burnt to death in Chambishi riot
    September 2, 2012

    Mob burns three to death
    September 1, 2012

  2. Lusaka killings new

    A spate of killings recently shocked the nation's capital, frightening the population. The people are wondering whether this is the macabre work of a serial killer or .... ritual killers. Five women were murdered, four of them within one month.  Ruth Mbandu, Sharon Tembo, Mazuba Kapembwa, Thandiwe Longwe, Mailes Banda.

    In July three young women were found murdered within a space of three weeks: 19-year-old student Ruth Mbandu, 27-year-old Sharon Tembo, a hairdresser of Matero Township and 23-year-old Mazuba Kapembwa. In August two women were murdered: 30-year-old Thandiwe Longwe of Ng'ombe Township and 65-year-old Mailes Banda in Mandevu Township.

    Are these ritual killings? Police chief Solomon Jere ruled out the possibility of ritual murders but at least in one case - the murder of Ruth Mbandu - the victim's body was found with her facial skin peeled off, ears removed and her eyes pokes out.

    At least two murders turned out to be 'common crimes' - Sharon Tembo and Mazuba Kapembwa - and had nothing to do with rituals or superstition.  Police investigation resulted in the arrest of Sharon's companion and Mazuba's boyfriend respectively.

    It is important to mention that the discovery of the mutilated body of the first victim, Ruth Mbandu, raised the suspicion of a ritual murder. This partly explains the fear of many residents of Zambia's capital city Lusaka when within a space of one month three more women were murdered and killing for ritual purposes seemed to be a plausible explanation.  

    See the extensive coverage of Ruth Mbandu's murder below. 

    More on the Lusaka killings:

    Mazuba's boyfriend in court for her murder
    September 3, 2012

    Sharon's companion appears on murder rap
    August 14, 2012

    Lusaka killings rekindle past fears
    August 20, 2012

    Four women killed in possible ritual murders
    Augst 13, 2012

    Lusaka killings - State Talks tough
    August 11, 2012

    Fourth murder - Ngombe woman slain
    August 10, 2012

    Lusaka murders -Third woman killed
    August 8, 2012

    Another Lusaka woman murdered in unexplained circumstances
    August 7, 2012

    Matero woman murdered
    July 30, 2012

    Ruth Mbandu murdered
    July 15

    More: see below

  3. The ritual killing of 19 year old Ruth Mbandu new

    On Friday July 13, a 19-year-old student at the National Institute of Public Administration, Ruth Mbandu, was brutully murdered, her naked lifeless body dumped in a residential area. Her eyes had been poked out, ears removed, her facial skin skillfully peeled of. Four days after she was buried, Police exhumed her body.

    Ruth Mbandu's murder has led to an unprecedented public outcry and an outpouring of sympathy, with Matero member of Parliament Miles Sampa staking K15 million for information leading to the arrest of her killers. Other residents raised the amount to K28.5 million.

    Within weeks five suspects were arrested. Among them Ruth's uncle, Pastor George Kalomo (31) at Joy Church, whom she visited an hour before her death, and Bishop Evans Ngulube (58) of Mount Zion Spirit Church as well as his driver Stanley Munkonji (31). Two men, who were found in possession of Ruth’s phone, were apprehended in Kanyama. The identity of the last two suspects is unknown. 

    According to classified police information Pastor George Kalomo and Bishop Evans Ngulube phoned each other over 20 times on the night of the murder. Also there were many phone calls between Ruth's mother Victoria Mbandu and George Kalomo and Evans Ngulube that night.

    Latest developments are that the three will be charged for ritual murder. The bishop's driver Stanley Munkonji will be state witness. He will testify against the other three hoping for a lighter sentence. He sold Ruth's phone after the murder in Kanyama to the two youths. 

    Reports on the possible role of Dick Masebo, a Lusaka businessman operating a transport business, proved to be creating confusion and untrue. Early August police in Lusaka confirmed recording warn-and-caution statements from Dick Masebo and his mother Mercy Namonje. Zambian newspapers then linked Dick Masebo to Ruth's murder. Lusaka Province police commissioner Dr Solomon Jere denied that Dick Masebo was linked to the murder of Ruth Mbandu. Meanwhile Dick Masebo has threatened to sue the Zambia Daily Mail for libel.

    Ruth Mbandu's uncle and bishop 20 times on phone on night of murder
    August 21, 2012

    Masebo’s ex-husband linked to murder of Ruth Mbandu
    August 7, 2012

    Dick Masebo linked to Ruth murder
    August 7, 2012

    Driver may turn State witness in Ruth murder case
    August 2, 2012

    Ruth murder - Two Churches banned
    August 2, 2012

    Two churches de-registered for involvement in Ruth Mbandu's murder case
    August 1, 2012

    Police warn and caution Ruth's mother
    August 1, 2012

    Ruth Mbandu's mum quizzed
    August 1, 2012

    Grisly Murder
    In: Kalaki's Korner: Political satire on current events in Zambia, in the form of a weekly story
    July 31, 2012

    I saw Ruth off, aunt
    July 29, 2012

    Police yet to charge youths found with Ruth Mbandu's phone
    July 27, 2012

    Ruth murder - 2 more cornered
    July 26, 2012

    Boy found with murdered Ruth's phone arrested
    July 25, 2012

    Two more arrested in Ruth Mbandu's brutal murder
    July 25, 2012

    Ruth killing: Uncle, bishop charged with murder
    July 23, 2012

    Sunday Mail Report reveals that Ruth Mbandu was probably pregnant at the time of her death
    July 22, 2012

    Ruth Mbandu's murder: Police arrest Bishops driver Stanley Munkonji
    July 22, 2012

    Ruth Mbandu murder: Pastor's aide arested after going underground

    July 22, 2012

    Ruth Mbandu: Unfolding the shocking mystery murder
    July 21, 2012

    Ruth Mbandu's body exhumed
    July 21, 2012 ('AllAfrica')
    July 21, 2012 ( 'Zambia Daily Mail')

    Police exhume body of murdered Ruth Mbandu
    July 20, 2012

    The grisly murder of Ruth Mbandu takes a new twist as Police exhume her body
    July 20, 2012

    Bishop retained in Ruth Murder
    July 20, 2012

    Release Ruth's uncle, pleads mum
    July 20, 2012

    Ruth Mbandu's murder: 2 held, bounty at K25.3 million
    July 19, 2012

    Uncle picked up in student murder
    July 19, 2012 ('AllAfrica')
    July 19, 2012 ('TrulyZambian')

    A Lusaka based Bishop has been arrested in connection with grisly murder of Ruth Mbandu
    July 19, 2012

    Mbanu murder jigsaw puzzle for police
    July 19, 2012

    Two arrested in connection with the brutal murder of NIPA student Ruth Mbandu
    July 18, 2012

    My daughter's blood will haunt her killers warns Ruth Mbandu's mother
    July 17, 2012

    NIPA student Ruth Mbandu who was brutally killed laid to rest
    July 17, 2012

    Police close in on people suspected to have slain NIPA student Ruth Mbandu
    July 15, 2012

    Opposition leader Nevers Mumba visits funeral house of teenager brutally murdered
    July 15, 2012

    NIPA's students eyes poked out in suspected ritual killing
    July 15, 2012

    Female NIPA student brutally murdered
    July 14, 2012

  4. Decomposed body missing parts indicates possible ritual killing
    A decomposed body of a 70 year old man has been found near the Zambia Railway New Building in Kabwe. Police suspect the killing to be a ritual one (....)
    February 28, 2012
  5. Rumours of ritual murders, riots and a failing rule of law
    Suspected ritual killings in Luapula Province sparked a four-day protest, in which three people allegedly involved in the same were burnt to death while several protestors were shot dead or wounded by law enforcement officers.
    Riots broke out in Mansa after residents of Senama and Kapesha areas in the provincial capital staged a riots following a rumours that local businessmen have engaged killers who are abducting children for body parts to use in boosting their businesses.

    At least eight people died in the riots though the police command claimed no one was shot dead.

    Read more...:

    'Mansa mother accuses govt of killing her son'   April 25, 2011

    'Mansa parents complain about son's death'
    April 24, 2011

    'Police recover looted items in Mansa'
    April 24, 2011

    'Deadly riots send a bad signal'
    April 20, 2011

    'Two die in Mansa riots'
    April 19, 2011

    'Ritual Killings in Luapula Province'
    Warning: with graphic pictures!

    April 18, 2011

  6. DRC envoy collapses, dies
    (....) police in the Copperbelt have dispelled rumours that there are ritual killings in the province, especially in Chifubutownship (...)
    April 11, 2011
  7. Woman escapes alleged ritual killing
    Police spokesperson Bonny Kapeso said the suspects are in police custody.

    “This comes in the wake of a local businessman’s attempt to shoot his female employee after driving her in the bush where she allegedly sneaked away from him,” he said.

    Mr Kapeso said the woman escaped from her employer around 02:00 hours and sought refuge at a nearby village where she narrated her ordeal.
    He said the woman sent text messages using her mobile phone to her relatives, after which they reported the matter to Zambezi police.

    Mr Kapeso said people rioted and went on an orgy of destruction after word went round that the woman escaped alleged ritual killing. He said the businessman is currently in custody helping police with investigations.
    The circumstances under which the woman jumped into her employer’s vehicle are not known.
    February 27, 2010
  8. Teenage girl murdered by suspected ritual killers
    A teenage girl, believed to be mentally disturbed, has been found dead with her left arm missing in Nsadzu ward of Chadiza District. The deceased only identified as, Inoni, also had her right hand broken while the right thigh was found ripped by a sharp object.

    The development has sparked fears that the recent suspected ritual killings reported in Chipata could spread to Chadiza.

    According to some Nsadzu residents Inoni went missing for three days before the body was spotted floating on Nsadzu stream by passersby last Thursday some 15 kilometers from Chadiza administrative centre.

    Police from Chadiza Police station retrieved the body from the stream and it has since been buried.
    July 2, 2009

  9. Zambia: Amnesty International Report 2007
    In March (2006), two journalists working for Radio Chikuni in the Southern Province were arrested and charged with publishing false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public. They were detained overnight and then provisionally released.

    The charge stemmed from a broadcast about a young boy found dead after going missing. The body was said to be mutilated, and local residents suspected that the boy was the victim of a ritual killing.
    Zambia Amnesty International Rport 2007

    Poliice Arrest Two Journalists
    March 14, 2006

  10. Zambia New Online - Ritual killings and mob justice
    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.
    September 3, 1996  
  11. Witchcraft and Ritual Killing
    Some Indian businessmen and traders in South Africa and Zambia are also thought to indirectly participate in ritual killings to secure medicine that will ensure the success of their businesses. There are, of course, ways around the outright killing of someone to obtain human tissue. In Johannesburg, a White police officer at a mortuary was alleged to be supplying traditional healers with human fat, harvested from the corpses he was paid to protect (Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Witchcraft Violence and Ritual Murders in the Northern Province of the Republic of South Africa, 1995).

    Source: David Simmons 1999
















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