SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
A 35-YEAR-OLD woman identified as Agness Zulu was allegedly beaten to death in Lusaka’s Mtendere Township during a fight with her husband whom they have accused of having allegedly connived with family members and quickly buried her body in Kasisi to cover up the murder, neighbours of the victim have revealed.
Police have confirmed receiving the body and noted bruises which family members claimed resulted from the victim falling as a result of fits.
The neighbours are however determined to ensure the victim receives justice.
In separate interviews, residents in the neighbourhood accused the named man of having murdered his wife and conniving with some family members to quickly bury her to avoid facing the wrath of the law.
The unhappy neighbours told the Sun the couple had been having arguments and fights.
They allege that on the material day, they were fighting.
One of the concerned Mtendere residents who asked the Sun not to identify her, said the neighbour, whose house a Sun crew visited, allegedly fought with his 35-year-old wife before her death.
“Uja mukazi banamumenya bamuna bake. Benzo menyana, after baona kuti afa, banapangana nababululu bake ati bakambe cabe ati anagwa nochita collapse,” the whistleblower said.
Loosely translated he was saying that the woman was beaten to by her husband during a fight but he colluded with his relatives to cover up the alleged murder by saying she had just collapsed.
“But vazoona nivakuti uja muntu banamupaya. Tiyopa kukamba cabe because nkhani zaku police na court sitifuna. Banamushikila ku Kasisi cifukwa banayopa ati kuno ma neighbours bazaulula kuti ujamukazi banamupaya,”one of the residents said.
The suspect and his relatives decided to secretly bury the body in Kasisi because they knew that his neighbours were aware of what had actually happened and were afraid that they might tell the truth, the neighbours told the Sun.
Another neighbour said, “Yes, there was a murder case here in Mtendere at that house on Thursday May 9, 2019. At night, the husband of the deceased brutally beat his wife and the body of the woman was quickly buried in Kasisi area the following day, on Friday, May 10, 2019 just to cover up.”
“Please, let the police move in and get justice for the victim. There is a public outcry here in Mtendere as the case of murder is being covered up when we all know that the woman was beaten to death during a quarrel.”
The Sun crew visited the house where the woman was allegedly murdered to interview the suspect.
Despite knocking on the door repeatedly, he did not open.
Neighbours had confirmed that he was inside the house.
The neighbours then directed the Sun crew to a house within the street where the sister of the suspect only identified as Bana Sheila lived.
Asked if she knew the late Agness Zulu’s husband and if they were related, Bana Sheila answered, “Yes.”
A visibly astonished and frightened Bana Sheila flanked by her neighbours then demanded to know what exactly the crew’s mission was.
After the Sun explained its mission, she said she did not know where her brother (the suspect) was and that she didn’t have his mobile line.
She, however blamed her late sister-in-law (Agness Zulu) of having triggered her own death with her “excessive beer drinking” habits saying she had been a drunkard.
Bana Sheila said Agness, the dead woman, used to have fits and that she collapsed and died as a result of excessive alcohol.
“Nimoba cabe unalengesa ati bafe. Problem sibenzo zimvelela cifundo ati ali nakhunyu. Muziba cabe munthu ali nakhunyu kumwa junta. Ine ndine nenzo baona elo naba brother banga nabo nibacakolwa koma benzo kondana bene bake.
She meant her sister-in-law had just killed herself through her excessive drinking of junta, a highly potent spirit packed in a pocket-size bottle. The victim used to suffer from fits but did not listen to advice to stop abusing alcohol.
Bamulamu beve benze bochita kugwililila kuleta kunyumba bakamwa moba.
“Na last time nina bapeleka ku hospital cifukwa cakumwa moba. Sibenzo zimvelela cifundo, benzo kugwa chigwe-chigwe.
“Family yao nayo siyenzo ikako nzelu olo kuti wabaitana kuti bwelani tinkhale pansi sibenzobwelako. But pali imfa pamankhala vokamba-kamba,” she said.
When asked for contact numbers of the family of the dead woman, Bana Sheila said she did not have any despite having confirmed earlier that they had buried Agness in Kassisi at her relatives’ farm.
A check at Bennie Mwiinga police post showed that the matter of ‘natural death’ had been reported on Thursday May 9, 2019 by late Agness’ sister, Beatrice Zulu, and members of the wife’s and husband’s families.
Beatrice and Agness’ husband took the body to the police post. It had some bruises but when the police tried to ask what had happened, they were told that she had bruised herself when she was seized by fits.
According to information obtained at the police post, Beatrice, who signed and left 0977754648 as her personal contact number, said her sister just collapsed and died.
However, when the Sun dialed Beatrice’s number, a man who identified himself as Mr Daka answered and said he was not related in any way to the dead woman.
Asked if he knew Beatrice Zulu, Mr Daka said he had only helped her to use his phone to make calls when Agness died.
“I’m Mr Daka, I stay in Mtendere but I’m not related to late Agness. Yes, I know Beatrice Zulu, but let me call her husband to give me her mobile line so that she can explain herself to you why she registered my line at the police [post].
“She stays in Kaunda Square. In fact, let me rush at Bana Sheila’s place to get her number,” Mr Zulu said before cutting the line.
After about 30 minutes, Mr Daka sent through a text a number he claimed was for Beatrice Zulu, and after calling it the woman answered but said she was not ready to talk because she wanted to consult others first.
Repeated efforts to call her proved futile as the phone went unanswered.
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