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Coroner rules two Kabangwe children did not die natural death

By LUCY PHIRI

THE two children of the same family who were in 2022 reported to have drowned and died in a septic tank in Kabangwe area Lusaka, died from unnatural causes and the cause of their death has not been duly stated by the pathologist other than what seems to have been a force on their skull, a coroner has said.

Following their deaths, an inquest was instituted before Lusaka Magistrate Kabili Litia sitting as a coroner who passed a closed verdict stating that the deceased died in circumstances that are not clear as at whose hand came to their death.

Delivering his verdict in the inquest on Friday, Coroner Litia said from the evidence of the State Pathologist, it found that the deceased died of subdural haemorrhage due to traumatic fracture of sagittal suture of the skull/blunt force injury.

The pathologist also said he could not comment on the cause of death as the report was not independently reviewable.

In this matter, Police in Kabangwe received a report of suspected drowning from Brenda Musonda Chalwe, 49, of Chilimanyemba Mwachindalo Village who reported that her two sons aged between two and three years old had gone missing and where later discovered dead in a septic tank at her neighbour’s house.

It is alleged that on May 5, 2022 around 17:00 hours the matter was reported that two children had gone missing and on Saturday, May 7, 2022 around 14:00 hours discovered dead in a septic tank at her neighbour’s house.

Section 29 of the Inquest Act Chapter 36 of the Laws of Zambia provides that “If at the close of any inquest, a coroner is of the opinion that there is ground for suspecting that some person is guilty of an offence in respect of the matter inquired into but cannot ascertain who such persons is, he shall  certify his opinion to that effect and transmit a copy of the proceedings to the commissioner or police.

Thus, i invoke the section above and retain an open verdict,’’ he ruled.

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