CHAMBO NG’UNI, Kabwe
SENIOR Chief Muchinda of the Lala people in Central Province has been shot dead by unknown people while his wife is admitted to Serenje District Hospital where she is nursing gunshot wounds in her ribs.
The traditional leader was installed to the throne of Senior Chief Muchinda last year after a lengthy legal battle.
The throne fell vacant on February 22, 2010 when Custom Chinamano, who became Senior Chief Muchinda on April 24, 1985, died at the age of 89.
Central Province commissioner of police Lombe Kamukoshi and Serenje district commissioner Francis Kalipenta said the 53-year-old traditional leader was killed at his residence.
Ms Kamukoshi said at a media briefing in Kabwe yesterday that Senior Chief Muchinda, whose name is Evans Mukosha, and his wife Dorothy Mukosha, 54, were shot at their residence around 03:00 hours yesterday.
“Mr Mukosha was killed by unknown people while his wife was shot in the ribs and has been taken to Serenje District Hospital where she is receiving medical attention,” she said.
Ms Kamukoshi said police have launched investigations into the death of the traditional leader.
She said police are tracking some suspects in connection with the murder.
“There are potential suspects whom the police will interview in order to thoroughly investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book,” Ms Kamukoshi said.
She said the victim ascended to the throne following the dispute on who should be the rightful heir.
Ms Kamukoshi said the dispute went to court where a judgment was delivered that the Lala Traditional Council should select a person to ascend to the throne.
But Mr Kalipenta said the slain traditional leader was installed as Senior Chief Muchinda last year after he won the case in court.
Mr Kalipenta, however, said there are still some members of the royal family who are contesting the matter in the Lusaka High Court.
He said the suspected killers entered through the back door of the house while the chief and his wife were asleep.
“They entered the house using the back door and they shot him three times in the head,” Mr Kalipenta said.
At the time of the murder, children were fast asleep in the other bedroom.
Authorities at Serenje District Hospital have said the condition of the traditional leader’s wife is stable and she is still in admission.
And Chief Chitambo of Chitambo described the death of Senior Chief Muchinda as a sad development.