Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Witch Doctor put on defense for unlawful possession of a Leopard skin


A witchdoctor has been put on his defense for unlawful possession of a leopard skin.

This is in a matter where Louis Munyama, a resident of Tibwe village in Chief Chikanta’s chiefdom in Kalomo District in Central Province is charged with unlawful possession of prescribed government trophy namely a leopard pelt valued at K7, 200.

Munyama denied the charge.

Magistrate Mugala Chalwe put Munyama on his defense after the prosecution closed its case.

“After going through the evidence from the prosecution. I have appreciated the evidence of the prosecution because they have established a prima facie case against you. I therefore put you on your defense” Magistrate Chalwe said.

Wildlife Police Officer from Ngoma Wildlife Camp Fey Munkombwe testified that he received a call from the Seniour officers that a man in Chikanta areas was in possession of a leopard pelt and in no time two other officers were called and they drove to Chikanta.

He said that they arrived around 03:00 hours and knocked on the door of Mr. Munyama’s house and later entered his house and after a search found a leopard pelt and when asked to produce a certificate of ownership, he could not produce.

Munkombwe said that Munyama later led them to his shrine where they also searched but could not find anything there.

He told the court that Munyama was then apprehended and taken to Ngoma Wildlife police post where he was charged with the subject offence.

Munkombwe identified the leopard pelt that Munyama allegedly was found in possession and a certificate of identification issued by the Seniour investigations officer.

The second witness was Josephat Mposaile who also testified in a similar manner.

And in cross examination Mr Munyama asked Mposaile as to who should be in possession of a leopard pelt.

“Who should possess a leopard skin, me a witchdoctor or you a wildlife police officer from Department of national parks and wildlife? Mr. Munyama asked.

Mposaile responded that no one is allowed except one who has a valid certificate.

The other witness was Maswabi Nyambe who testified on how he identified the leopard skin and produced a certificate of identity of the skin.

Mr. Maswabi told the court that when the suspect was availed to him, he differentiated the leopard pelt from a cheetah pelt and also valued the leopard pelt and indicated its value on the certificate of identification and handed him to the arresting officer.

In his defense, Mr. Munyama who identified himself as a Witchdoctor and famer testified that on the material day around 03:30 he heard a knock on his door and when he opened he found three people he came to know as police wildlife officers.

He said that one of the officers had a sack and then the officers searched his house and when they could not find anything, he led them to his shrine where they also searched but found nothing.

He told the court that the officers later told him that he was the owner of a leopard pelt which was in a sack.

Mr. Munyama narrated that he later led the officers to the Chief’s place but he was not around and instead they went to Seniour headman who told them that Mr. Munyama was not a poacher but a witchdoctor.

The court heard that the officers later drove him to Ngoma Wildlife Police where he was charged for the subject office.

The matter has been adjourned for judgment on July 17, 2018.


  1. A similar case happened many years ago in Chinsali District when the late firebrand and fierce freedom fighter; the late SIMON MWANSA KAPWEPWE (MHSRIP) was discovered owing a huge Elephant tusk…

    Later on in the courts, the local Magistrate read the charge and asked SIMON if he understood the charge? The whole court, the huge crowd of people outside including the magistrate himself BURST out with laughter when SIMON responded in chibemba and said;

    “Bushe iyi nsofu naipeye pakuti nsokoleko ilino(tusk) bushe ni nsofu yobe? Bushe iwe magistrate walitala aufyalapo insofu?”….

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