EIGHT women have appeared in the Ndola Magistrate’s Court for accusing two United States Agency for International Development (USAID) workers of being ritual killers and gassers. And Ndola principal resident magistrate Obbister Musukwa has denied the eight females bail until witnesses in the matter testify. This is in a case in which Mirriam Bwembya, 30, Alice Mbasela, 21, Emeldah Chilufya, 30, Doreen Lumbeta, 22, Mirriam Kasongo, 23, Virginia Chilufya, 26, Martha Chenda, 25, and Christine Soko, 60, are charged with seditious practice. It is alleged that on February 21 this year, the women conspired with other unknown people to incite violence, resistance and disobedience to the administration of lawful dispensation of medical care.
The eight women allegedly uttered words: “Ritual killers collecting blood and gassing innocent citizens for ritual purposes” to Georgina Ngalasa and Melbour Katebe. The two health workers were on duty in Masala, where they had gone to see their client, who had stopped taking HIV drugs. As the two were going about their business, they encountered a group of people who accused them of being behind chemical spraying.
Their client was allegedly also in support of the mob. Police were informed and when they rushed to the scene, they found the two victims at Masala clinic surrounded by a mob of women. The officers rescued the two workers and apprehended the eight women. And when the matter came up yesterday before magistrate Musukwa, the women said that they understood the charge. However, they could not give plea as the court is waiting for instructions from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The defendants applied for bail but magistrate Musukwa turned down their application. “I have taken note of your application and although you are of fixed abode, I am inclined to deny you the bail until all witnesses testify,” he said. Magistrate Musukwa adjourned the matter to March 6 this year for mention.