NANCY SIAME and CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
A DAZED and sombre atmosphere has gripped the Meanwood community in Lusaka following the bizarre slaying of a 30-year-old wife and her suspected lover allegedly by an
enraged husband on Thursday evening.
Charity Namuko and Andrew Chibeka, 27, both teachers at Crown Academy in Kaunda Square Stage II, were allegedly shot in cold blood by Peter Siwale, 33, a managing director at Acumen Logistics Limited, a clearing and forwarding company.
The incident happened around 19:00 hours at the couple’s home in Meanwood Kwamwena.
A check at the couple’s gorgeous residence yesterday found the house locked and being manned by some caretakers left there by the police.
A peep through the window of the house revealed blood stains all over the floor and curtains while a handbag and a coat were seen on a couch.
A neighbour, Inonge Mulauzi, who is keeping the couple’s three children aged between one and nine, said the kids went running to her home screaming that their mother had been shot dead by their father.
“We heard gunshots and shortly, the children came running crying and screaming. Shortly afterwards, their father came out of his house asking to be taken to the police so that he could hand himself over,” Ms Mulauzi told a Daily Mail crew that visited the shooting scene.
According to the neighbour, Mr Siwale and Ms Namuko had only lived at their Meanwood home for less than a year after coming from Nakonde in Muchinga Province.
She described Mr Siwale as a quiet and withdrawn man and wondered what could have led him to allegedly kill his wife and her suspected lover.
“He looks like a comfortable man but the wife always used to walk or jump on a bus when going for work,” she said.
A 12-year-old girl who was a dependant of the couple was found with their baby. She narrated that around 18:00 hours on Thursday, Mr Siwale arrived home with his wife and another man [Chibeka] she did not know.
The girl said her uncle called the three kids, including herself, and told them that he had found their mother with Mr Chibeka in an act of infidelity near the sewerage.
“He then asked the eldest child to bring the gun from under the bed. When the gun was handed to him, aunt [Namuko] told us to go to the bedroom,” she explained.
Later after hearing the gunshots, the children got scared and ran out and went to the neighbour’s house.
The girl described Mr Siwale as a short-tempered man.
Crown Academy director Lungowe Mwape described both Ms Namuko, a baby-class teacher, and Mr Chibeka, a Grade Six teacher, as reserved but hard working employees.
She said Ms Namuko had just worked at the learning institution for two months while Mr Chibeka had been with the school close to a year.
Ms Mwape said the two teachers’ relationship was quite close as they always used to walk home together after work.
“Mr Chibeka used to come from Kamanga and since it was far, we accommodated him at our house in Meanwood,” Ms Mwape said.
She said the school’s Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) showed that the two teachers left together around 17:30 hours on Thursday after knocking off.
“We used to meet them on our way home walking together and we would wonder why a woman who used to say her husband was a businessman could not have money for transport,” Ms Mwape explained.
Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said Mr Siwale allegedly trailed the teachers using a friend’s vehicle and found them in a romantic state.
“He picked the two and took them home, where he is alleged to have shot them dead,” Ms Katongo said in a statement.
She said Ms Namuko sustained wounds on the shoulder and right side of her chest while Mr Chibeka had an injury on the left side of his chest.
Ms Katongo said a pump action shot gun, which Mr Siwale allegedly used to kill the two teachers, has been recovered from the scene with three empty cartridges.
Mr Siwale is remanded at Chelston Police Station while the bodies of the deceased are in the University Teaching Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem.