I was beaten, robbed

...Kafue villager recounts robbery ordeal

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File Photo: Lusaka High Court.

GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA writes

A KAFUE business man has narrated to the Lusaka High Court how he was attacked at his shop by four assailants who assaulted him using sharp instruments and stole close to K6,500.

Phiswell Hachalwa, 41, told the court that the alleged assailants threatened to kill him if he did not give them what they had demanded, which was a gun and money.  

When the matter came up before Justice Mathew Chisunka for commencement of trial, Hachalwa testified that he runs a business in Chikani village in Kafue and on November 15, 2019 at around 02:00 hours when he went outside to answer the call of nature he heard movements outside his room adjacent to the shop. 

Hachalwa said after returning back to the room with the door not completely locked, he heard people calling that they wanted to buy food.

But when he peeped through the window, he saw two men in military attire and thought they were Zambia Wildlife Officers as they had come weeks back searching for firearms. 

He told them that the shop where food was sold was a distance away from his premises.

“I became suspicious and decided to go and lock the door. When I reached for the door, I heard someone hit my head. They pushed the door and uttered the words ‘Police on duty”. They entered with stones and started beating me and demanded for money and a gun,” he narrated. 

Hachalwa said he pleaded with them and told them that he only had K2,500 in his pocket and a K4,000 on the table which they got. 

“They told me that was not the amount that I had because they already had information that I had more money. So they threatened to kill me if I did not heed their demands,” he said.

He was then dragged to the shop while being beaten and asked to open the shop.

He told them that the person with the keys was at another shop.

Hachalwa said his loud shouting attracted the neighbors who came to his rescue which forced the alleged attackers to flee. 

He said they managed to apprehend Mweene who pleaded that he should not be killed and that he was a resident of that village. 

Hachalwa identified the clothes he wore on the particular day of the incident, a purported gun and the two camouflage military tops used by the accused. 

He was testifying in a matter in which Billion Mweene, 35, Samuel Sialange, 34, Freedom Twambo, 42, and Kawekaha Muchembele, 25, are charged with aggravated robbery.

Particulars of the offence allege that Mweene, Sialange, Twambo and Muchembele on November 15, 2019 in Kafue district, jointly and whilst acting together and whilst being armed with an offensive weapon or instrument did steal K6,000 cash money from Hachalwa, and immediately  before or after  the time of stealing, did use or threaten to use actual violence on the victim  in order to obtain the items stolen and to prevent resistance.

In cross examination defence counsel from Legal Aid Board of KamboneBukali, O Kaaba and M Liswaniso, questioned the witness on why some of the contents in his testimony were not in the Police statement. The defense counsel said in the Police statement there was no mention of stones used to beat him, recovered gun and that it shows that there was K2, 000 in his pocket and not K2, 500.

Justice Chisunka adjourned the matter to July 30, 2020 for continued trial.

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