Alice Lenshina was a female “spiritual leader” who formed and led a religious sect in Northern Province. She claimed she had immense divine powers. The truth was that she had tremendous hypnotical skills which convinced her subjects that she truly was a Woman of God! Some of the practices Lenshina’s people did were the drinking of own urine and the smearing of own human waste on the body as invincibility to evil forces. She had even convinced her loyalists that they could fly if only their faith was strong. Many people are believed to have plunged to their death from great heights on their “test flights”. Because of her growing influence even in other provinces such as Luapula and parts of Eastern Province , some political parties used the cult to further their political agendas and undertake clandestine activities. The Sect was officially outlawed by the State after a spiral of violence and death between rival factions. Her followers were deported by the KK government to Zaire [ Congo ].
Lenshina had healing powers and could through her devine powers as a Prophet would heal the sick. People travelled distances as far as SA, Malawi, UK, Mozambique to come and get healing. Unfortunately she had amassed too much influence and that did not go down well with the British Overseas Military Adminisration [BOMA], KK was then Prime Minister. A fracas arose and a police officer was unfortunately killed by some ‘purported followers’ of Lenshina. KK and being a memeber of the British Colonial cabinet was a party to the decision to crash what they termed a ‘rebellion’ and killed people and arrested Leshina. She later died in Lusaka’s Kaunda Square Stage 1 in the 90’s without any of the charges leveled against her being proved.
Roy Mudenda is believed to be the most notorious multi-activity criminal Zambia has ever had in living memory. He had committed various acts of inhumanity which can only be described as horrendous. In the early 70s he had a reign of terror particularly in the City of Lusaka . He had plied his trade by engaging in armed robbery, burglary, terrorism (there was no Taliban then), murder, and rape of women. Many times he had “James Bond” type skirmishes with Police and indeed managed to evade arrest on several occasions. When he was finally nabbed, he was tried and sentenced to death by hanging. He was hanged at Mukobeko Maximum Prison. The nation breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement his death. At least for that period!
Adam Mushala was a Wildlife Warder by profession. He had felt that he had contributed a lot to the liberation struggle of Zambia although Zambia ’s history books don’t seem to suggest so. He was one of the people Kaunda had sent to one of the Eastern Block countries for training. When Zambia finally got it’s independence on the 24th October 1964, Mushala had hoped to be given a post as a Director, literally in the Wildlife and Fisheries Ministry. His wishful dreams were diminished and he became disgruntled. He later become inspired by Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA’s activities in the pre and post independence Angola . He waged “war” against the Government of Kenneth Kaunda and actually agitated for the secession of North-Western province. Mushala carried out terrorist activities in mostly rural areas; he burnt villages, abducted women and children and “enlisted” child soldiers. He was particularly known for his magical prowess; he evaded
detection by Kaunda’s soldiers when sought for, by “disappearing in thin air”. There is even a story about him having flirted Kaunda at State house several times in his invisible state. But his days were numbered! He was tracked and gunned down by a young Zambian corporal after a tip off from one of his “wives”. The secret was for his pursuers to strip their clothes naked to find and hit their target which had turned out to be true. The “Terrorist” had gone on his routine daily activity of hunting and bee honey collecting. His body was displayed for the nation to see. There were suggestions from some members of the public to have his body cremated so that the ash remains are put in museums. The group of young soldiers who had been sent for this almost impossible mission (for such missions were normally futile, ending up in heavy casualties on the side of the Army) were honoured for having achieved this feat.
“Rosemary” was a famous prostitute who was believed to have originated from Southern Province. She had died a horrific death under mysterious circumstances in the hands of men. She had reappeared (as a ghost) and went for an all-out carnage to any man who fell prey to her. “Rosemary” had developed a hatred for all men because of what had happened to her in real life. The ghost would pose as real beautiful street prostitute. Then the unsuspecting clients would engage her and go out for a ride or a “quickie”. The woman would turn into a fairytale superficial being and suck the victim of blood with the precision of a vampire to death. Those who were lucky enough came out without their teeth! During that time there were a lot of reports of the sightings of this mysterious woman who had also caused a lot of road traffic accidents. It went on like this – you are driving in the evening or night, then suddenly appears a woman right in the middle of
the road, you hit her you die, you avoid her, you die still! Or you pick this beautiful chick thumbing you to give her a lift, and then she pounces on you on the way. This is why up-to-now the practice of picking strange women at night is not common with male motorists. The haunting spirit of “Rosemary” was finally put to rest when a number of Priests held special prayers at her grave.
SIPALO the “Notorious Strangler “
In the mid part of the 1970s, Zambia was plagued by a spate of serial killings. The “notorious strangler”, as he was known then, had targeted young and mostly beautiful women. He would court and date unsuspecting young ladies at exclusive pubs or night clubs. He would then take them for an outing and then at an opportune time, pounce on the victim, twisting her neck until she died of strangulation! Indeed, the strangler had become so invincible that the law enforcement agents had run out of ideas to catch him. He terrorized mostly, the greater City of Lusaka and had at least strangled a hobbling figure of 28 women before he was cornered. Ironically, there had been no traces of rape on virtually all his victims. He was only caught after he mistakenly left his victim for dead: the victim had apparently regained her conscious and was able to identify the strangler who was one of the respected members of a particular well known township in Lusaka .
Before he was sent for trial, a lapse in security by the Police enabled the killer to find his way up the highest point at the Police Headquarters where he threw himself and plunged to his death in cold blood. The motives of his killings were never known but it was suspected he was linked with a bogus businessman and politician who had ran a thriving business in bus coach services. To this day, we now know that he was called SIPALO and had served in the Zambian Army.
NEVERS “Spoiler” KAPENDA
Indeed, Nevers had spoiled the aspirations of many Zambian citizens by his despicable acts of crime and violence. He was a “super gangster” who had perpetrated a reign of terror particularly, in and around Lusaka . He coordinated a spate of armed robberies, banditry and burglary in his target areas. He was really a crime maestro of his generation who enjoyed inflicting pain on his victims. He had escaped prison so many times. He died when he was shot down during a skirmish with Police.
On the Copperbelt in the early 90’s there was a criminal who caused alot of terror.the famous Chanda Siliya. After playing tom and jerry with the police he was gunned down by the anti-robbery squard led by the celebrated officers Sakato and Musumali who later retired and took up the position of body guard for JERABO gold father commonly known as SHI-MUMBI if you lived in Kitwe you will know these officers. The police passed his dead body around Kitwe and displayed it at central police for all to see.
“Uncle Barry” was another dangerous criminal who had restricted his criminal activities to the Copperbelt towns only. He had commanded respect with his peers and had a “Mafia type” status. He was the man at the helm of most of Copperbelt province’s horrendous crimes including armed robbery and terror. He was gunned down when he tried to escape from Police custody.
There were so many criminals in different towns of Zambia who did not make it on the “national level” but were nonetheless causing a stir to local residents with their crime operatives.
If you were a Livingstonian at the time, you may heard of big names in the world of crime like, “ZEPILA”, “GEORGE KILLER”, “ZAMBO”, “KINTO”, “SKINJO”, “WINDIE”, “DARKOTA” and “JAGUAR” who later went insane.