The Chipata High Court has handed down a life imprisonment sentence to Leonard Nyirongo, a 26-year-old man from Lundazi, for the murder of his pregnant wife. High Court Judge Mercy Makubalo delivered the verdict, finding Nyirongo guilty of the heinous crime.
The court heard that Nyirongo, who had consumed alcohol on the fateful day, returned home and viciously attacked his wife, repeatedly striking her on the head with a stick. Shockingly, their three-year-old child witnessed the brutal assault.
During the trial, one of the witnesses, the convict’s father, testified that Nyirongo had gone out to herd cattle and returned home in a drunken state. The father explained that when he questioned his son about why he brought the cattle back late, Nyirongo responded violently by assaulting him with a whip. The father stated that he tried to intervene when he found his son beating his wife, but Nyirongo turned his aggression towards him as well. Fearing for his safety, the father fled and sought help from others.
Two friends of the convict arrived at the scene and managed to halt the assault on the wife. When they approached Nyirongo’s house, he invited them inside to witness the “animal” he had killed and it was at this point when one of them told him that he had killed his wife.
In his defense, Nyirongo claimed that he had no recollection of the events due to his intoxicated state. He stated that he vaguely remembered herding cattle and drinking alcohol with friends.
Justice Makubalo, in delivering the judgment, determined that the prosecution had successfully proven Nyirongo’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. She highlighted the absence of any mitigating factors and sentenced him to life imprisonment with hard labor.