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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wife gets 17 years Imprisonment with hard labour for Killing Husband

Headlines Wife gets 17 years Imprisonment with hard labour for Killing Husband

THE Kitwe High Court has sentenced a 27-year-old housewife to 17 years Imprisonment for murdering her husband.

Miriam Lungu, of Kwacha Township in Kitwe was charged with murder of Sydney Lungu contrary to section 200 of the Penal Code after she murdered the deceased on December 7, last year.

In passing sentence, High Court Judge Judy Mulongoti said with due consideration to Lungu’s mitigation, she was compelled to slap a stiff punishment on the accused because of the serious nature of the offense.

“You killed your own husband whom your children called father, and now your children will no longer have someone to call father,

“I therefore sentence you to 17 years imprisonment with effect from the date of your arrest,” Ms Justice Mulongoti said.

Ms Justice Mulongoti noted that the deceased attacked the accused with bear hands whilst the accused used excessive force in defence.

Facts before court were that on December 6, last year, Mr Lungu returned home around 20:00 hours and found his wife and children already sleeping, something that was unusual as he normally found them awake that time around.

It was then that Mr Lungu inquired why they had slept early and upon doing so, his wife responded that she had nothing to do and in the process, a quarrel erupted.

The court heard that Lungu suggested to the deceased that he takes any complaint he had against her to her parents instead of making baseless accusations.

Lungu narrated that an agreement was arrived at to go to her mother’s place but that when they reached the entrance, the deceased refused to go in and instead started pulling her around and beating her.

She testified that her right eye was injured in the process and she was only rescued by passers-by.

Lungu said she ran to her matrimonial home and that her husband followed her and continued beating her.

She told the court that after persistent beating she picked an alternator cover and hit him with it because she was afraid he would kill her.

“I got a metal object, an alternator cover and hit him because I wanted him to stop beating me. I did not know that he would die. All I wanted was for him to stop beating me,” She said.

In mitigation, Lungu pleaded for leniency through her lawyer Ignatius Chongwe from the legal aid counsel.

Mr Chongwe pleaded that his client was a first offender who had children and would be tormented on the demise of her husband.

He asked the court to consider the circumstances in which this happened bearing in mind that convict was the weaker sex.

He also asked the court to consider the plight of the children who would lose both parents if stiff punishment was meted.

[Read 73 times, 1 reads today]


  1. So sad that things could end this way. The biggest losers in all this are the children. Let this serve as a lesson to spouses who are in the habit of turning their bedrooms into wrestling rings whenever there are marital differences. Fighting can never be the best solution.

  2. I have lived in Zambia for five years and I have loved it immensely. One thing that saddened me while living there with my family was the seeming acceptance of wife beating. I heard over and over again that wives are regularly beaten specially when their husbands are drunk and most husbands are often drunk with chibuku or kachasu. Hence, though I respect the judge’s ruling but I can’t help but be saddened by this ruling because from the news account the wife was simply defending her very life. I could imagine that if the wife wasn’t able to take hold of a metal object then she might be one who’s deceased. Again, I respect the laws of Zambia but I sincerely believe that the penalty is very stiff and harsh.

  3. This is clearly manslaughter. The test for murder is malice aforethought. In this instance the wife did not plan to kill the husband, mens rea, but it was a spontaneous act. Based on my comments , I also feel the punishment is harsh and wrong.

  4. The verdict is rather too stiffer for the innocent soul, she never knew she would kill, she only did that out of defense. can someone please with this woman details post them so we can see her through. Manslaughter makes sense. Come on guys this is too much for her. Let it be reduced to atleast five (5) years.

  5. This is definitely manslaughter – the Legal Aid chap did not acquit himself well and the sentence must be appealed.

  6. This is manslaughter. The poor woman was defending herself. If he had continued beating her, she would have been the one who would have ended up dead! Activists please, help this woman to have the charge changed and sentence reduced.

  7. Looking at the circumstances, I believe that the wife was just defending herself and she could have been killed had she picked up the metal object.

    GBV is very rife in our country and mostly women are on the receiving end and self defence is not violence. While a life was sadly and inadvertently lost, she surely did not intend to kill him.

    The penalty appears very stiff and I urge her legal team to appeal the sentence

  8. Women’s movements in Zambia must stand up and fight for this woman the probability that she did it intentionally is very low. I believe the learned Judge made an error both Judgement and interpretation of law

  9. Should this not have been wash-out? This lady needed an award not a jail term.

  10. Don’t play with Murder, it has extreme punishment…i think the sentence is ok, rather too lenient… Manslaughter is life imprisonment, murder is death sentence.So she is lucky, for the children sake if at all they will like her.

  11. Its a serious error on da part of da learned judge..There was no malice therefore it shud hv been reduced to manslaughter .It can be further reduced to homicide as da woman ws trying to defend herself.Tho da law says defence shud b prorpotionate to da action,it shud b considered tht ther ws a weaker sex involved.

  12. The various Womens’ Rights Groups in Zambia need to assist this poor woman. Let someone start a petition for her release.

  13. @15 Kangwine, I think you are right. The case was supposed to be reduced to manslaughter and not murder for which the punishment seems OK. It just reminds me of the Philpott case you know.

  14. Women stand up and fight. She is a victim not a perpetrator. The man should have been. Punished for GBV. Let us consider the circumstances before we condemn her. Let justice be done.

  15. No 7 : at Wapya Baisa ” solution is to walk away if you can. Or sleep! No noise at home esp during drunken periods

  16. men in zambia have a tendency of beating wife’s .looking at the account of the case,the woman was trying to defend her self and she is a weaker vessel she has no option but only to pick something.i think this man must have beaten her bad and he usually used to beat her when comes drunk.to bad for the children .the court would have listern to her cry.too much the sentence.

  17. Iyeeh natina! People can fight to the extent of killing each other? How angry do you get? My God my heart bleeds i cant even imagine the scenario, where is everyone when you need them most? Awe natina….., i bet he had extra marital affairs, but then if that was the case, why didnt she just pack and leave him mwebantu, our culture is to blame, people think marriage is shipikisha club on top of that, you have to be marrioed no matter how unsafe it is, please, start teaching your girls that marriage is not every thing, you can be happy as a single hard working girl, problem ku Africa ubututu, marriage and pop out ******load of children while men go flat out inpregnanting and spreading diseases like crazy, leaving you to till hard for you and yours. This is sad what a life!

  18. The sentence was not fair, clearly she was defending herself. What was she suppose to do, just sit there and wait to be beaten to death herself? Vi kwati !!

  19. It seems to me that the judge took this rather personally. According to this story the punishment is too stiff indeed. She responded in the moment,whileundergoing a thrashing. Its not like she had planned to kill, or indeed kept the instrument used in readiness for such an assault. It seems that it just happened to be the nearest thing within reach. If the judge is so concerned about the children who have been rendered fatherless, now they will also lose their remaining parent for 17 years. I would recommend probabtion. She is definitely not a criminal.

  20. This in itself is what we call genda violence against women. The woman in question was in bed sleeping around 20.00 hrs that is the only crime she committed to sleep early the husband comes find her sleeping he questions her why she slept so early she answers I have nothing else to do that is why I am resting then the fight started, while trying to defend herself the husband dies and she gets a 17 year sentence for killing the man, to me this is not a fair judgement. Let the woman appeal for fair justice, sorry for the children but they do not deserve to be punished twice they have lost the father and the mother locked up for 17 years what is this?

  21. This was self defense, the lady needs to get a good lawyer. Anyone know a good lawyer who can take up this case pro-bono, cause I think the defendant is not able to pay for a lawyer. And the children are the ones suffering all because the dad came home at 8:00pm.

  22. Judge My foot! How can a woman who is being beaten for going to bed early; while being accused of infidelity and then dragged to her parents house; but the chi hubby changes mind and starts beating the woman; in the process and in pure self defence the woman picks up a metal and the chap ends up dead be murder?
    The 3 elements of murder motive, malice and opportunity were not even slightly proved. The fact that the woman was wrongly charged with murder by foolish ZP does not imply or obligate the judge to pass a quilty sentence. This is why we are always complaining that, the judiciary is rotten. Most likely the husband’s family has money and the judge was in their pockets and therefore obliged to pass a guilty sentence. On appeal this case will be discahged. FOOLISH JUDGE SUPPORTING…

  23. Why did this woman do this?God help.she was suppose to answer politely according on how the wife should be in a home peace,she has now let children suffer because of her negligence,I fill pity for the children.

    • so u will ignore the fact that he beat her..and even followed her and beat her in her matrimonial home…and is that how a man should treat a woman really?..this woman was defending herself..its just that our judges are tooo lazy or just dull mwe…this is a terrible precedent

  24. This was self defence. It is in cases like these that Mwanawasa would tell the court publicly to look at the case again, i do hope that our President Mr.Sata can at least send someone who understands law to go and help to have a better look at this case again and the woman to appeal to the judgement as its harsh. This was clearly self defence. From the facts we are reading she does not deserve such a sentence.

  25. i wish bloggers on this site were judges! u have all settled for man slaughter. the problem is legal representations for the poor pipo is equally poor. the judge needed to be convinced of the facts but it looks like the facts were not coming forth.

  26. hmmm kano if he was the one who killed her..bushe what kind of judges are these..indeed its a mans world!!

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