Chinsali, May 17, 2019, ZANIS ---The magistrate court in Chinsali district of Muchinga Province, yesterday heard how unknown people exhumed a body of Reggy Chimfwembe, removing the facial skin on the forehead and stealing two metres of the cloth the deceased body was wrapped in before burial.

This is in a matter in which Chola Kaziwe and Joseph Mulenga are jointly charged with one count of trespassing on a burial place contrary to section 130 of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence are that between April 1 and 20th day of April 2019, in Chinsali District of Muchinga Province jointly and while acting together, did enter and trespass into a burial site of Reggy Chimfwembe with intent to intimidate and annoy.

The duo who appeared before resident magistrate Webster Milumbe, have however pleaded not guilty to the charge.

When the duo appeared before court yesterday, public prosecutor Michael Phiri informed the court that the state was ready to proceed with trial and will call 6 witness.

First witness John Chanda informed the court that his uncle by the name of Reggy Chimfwembe died on March 30 and his body was deposited in Chinsali General Hospital Mortuary.

Chanda said on April 1, 2019, the body of his uncle was collected from the mortuary and eventually buried in Malakupikwa cemetery.

He said a fortnight later, it was discovered that unknown people had tampered with his deceased uncle’s grave after finding it open and coffin exposed.

Chanda added that the matter was reported to the police who rushed to site and after a thorough examination of the body, it was discovered that the facial skin on the fore head, had been removed while other body parts were intact.

Chanda further told the court that a white cloth material measuring 2 meters given by his Royal Highness Senior Chief Nkula, which was used to wrap the deceased body, was also missing.

Chanda said after examination of the body was done, police instructed that the body be reburied and was done as directed.

He said it was later reported by an eyewitness that one Chola Kaziwe was seen selling a white cloth believed to be the one stolen from the grave.

Kaziwe was later apprehended and taken to Nambuluma police station together with the recovered cloth.

Later another suspect, Joseph Mulenga, believed to have been with Kaziwe when they trespassed into the burial site of Reggy Chimfwembe, was also arrested and taken to the police station.

Magistrate Webster Milumbe however, discontinued with the trial after noticing that accused number one, Chola Kaziwe, was a bit abnormal.

This was during the time witness number four, Reagan Mwansa was testifying.

Mwansa told the court that he saw Chola Kaziwe, accused number one with a white sack and a machete in his hands.

Mwansa said this was sometime in April this year.

He said the following day when he returned where he was burning charcoal, he discovered that there was a strong stench coming from a nearby place and after a thorough check, he discovered that the strong stench was coming from a sack that he saw with Chola Kaziwe the previous day.

He said he later dug a small hole where he buried the sack.

Mwansa said after few days he called to the police station to give a statement on what he saw and later took police to the site near the Mulakupikwa cemetery where he buried the sack he had seen with Chola Kaziwe.

Mwansa said after exhuming the sack, they found maggots inside the sack and some soil.

It was at this point that magistrate Milumbe discontinued with the trial in pursuit to article 17 of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap 88 of the laws of Zambia and ordered that accused number one be sent to the hospital to ascertain his mental state.

He adjourned the matter to May 28, 2019 for return of a Medical report and continuation of trial.

The accused persons are remanded in custody.