News

Triple murders

REEVES MALAMBO

CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
TRIPLE murders that rocked Lusaka on Sunday have sent shock waves around the country and left families of the deceased devastated.
In one case, a middle-aged woman allegedly stabbed AutoForce proprietor Reeves Malambo after a fight while in the other, a man is said to have killed his son and girlfriend after a quarrel.
Police have detained a 38-year-old woman identified as Shabu Benos of Ibex Hill for allegedly stabbing Mr Malambo, 48, several times in the collarbone after a fight at her home in Lusaka’s Ibex Hill.
Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said Ms Benos allegedly stabbed Mr Malambo with a knife around 23:00 hours.
Ms Katongo said in a statement yesterday that Ms Benos allegedly stabbed Mr Malambo on the upper part of his body and later rushed him to Hill Top Hospital, where he died 10 minutes after midnight.
She said police have detained Ms Benos while the body is in the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) mortuary.
The house of mourning is at Mr Malambo’s residence on Chaholi Road in Rhodes Park, where scores of mourners were still in shock.
Family spokesperson Stanford Hamweemba said the death of Mr Malambo, who was his nephew, has left the family devastated.
“I received a call from Shaftex manager that my nephew was attacked by his girlfriend. When we rushed to the hospital, we confirmed that the body was that of my nephew, whom we were told [by health personnel] was stabbed twice on the collarbone and near the kidney,” he said.
Mr Hamweemba said Mr Malambo, whom he described as a “giant of the family”, leaves behind a wife, Ngoza,  and four children Nkombo, Wanji, Kahumbu and the youngest, Muyoya, who is five years old.
“This death is especially heartbreaking because Mr Malambo was a breadwinner who was fending for over 1,000 people in our family,” he said.
Mr Hamweemba urged police to professionally and thoroughly investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.
And speaking on behalf of AutoForce employees, the company’s finance and administrative manager, Elwin Hamoonga, said the company has lost a determined and hardworking supervisor.
He described Mr Malambo as one of the few accomplished and youthful businessmen who worked well with Government and other associates.
“The over 500 employees have lost a very hard working person who cared for their welfare,” Mr Hamoonga said.
A check at Ms Benos’ residence where the incident happened, found a plain-clothed officer manning the premises.
The death of Mr Malambo comes in the wake of increasing reports of women killing their husbands after domestic disputes with over five men being killed by their wives in the past four months.
According to the 2013-2014 Zambian Demographic and Health survey, nine percent of women reported that they had initiated physical violence against their husbands and five percent had done so in the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Gender permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale said Government is concerned at the increasing number of women killing their spouses and is putting in place measures to address the vice.
Ms Mutale in an interview yesterday, said her ministry would work closely with other ministries and government departments to establish the root cause behind the spate of spouse killings.
“We [Ministry of Gender] intend to work with the ministry of Health, National Guidance and Religious Affairs and Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to counsel these women involved in spouse killings because no-one can just wake up and kill someone they love,” Ms Mutale said.
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili recently said gender-based violence such as spouse killings can come to an end when citizens love one another and respect the sanctity of life.
And the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) has condemned the killing of Mr Malambo and called on authorities to ensure the law takes its course.
YWCA national president Lucy Masiye said in an interview that her organisation frowns upon all forms of violence regardless of the perpetrator’s gender.
“We stand for both men and women and in this case we condemn the killing of the man and expect the police to arrest and take the suspect to court so that the law can prevail,” Ms Masiye said.
And in a separate interview, YWCA Men’s network Lusaka district site co-ordinator Richard Nawa also condemned the incident and urged men never to feel shy to report their abusive spouses to police or YWCA gender-based violence one-stop centre.
Meanwhile, a man of Lusaka’s Kaunda Square township has allegedly stabbed to death his one-year-old son and his 22-year-old girlfriend after a quarrel.
Ms Katongo said the woman and her 20-month-old son died after sustaining deep cuts on their bodies after being stabbed several times with an unknown sharp instrument.
She said the woman, identified as Stella Moonga, and her son, Mark Mumba, were murdered on Sunday around 19:30 hours in Kaunda Square township.
Ms Katongo named the suspect as Raphael Mumba, who is on the run.
The bodies are in the UTH awaiting an autopsy.

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