Katima Mulilo – The editor of the Caprivi Vision newspaper, Risco Lumamezi, 41, appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court in the Zambezi Region on Friday for attempted murder.
Caprivi Vision is a bi-monthly community newspaper circulated mostly in Zambezi Region with content both in English and Silozi, the lingua franca of the majority of residents.
Lumamezi stands accused of shooting his wife Martha Liseli Matongo, 32, employed as the marketing manager of Caprivi Vision, in the thigh with the intention to kill her.
The attempted murder took place at the couple’s village at Chefuzwe some 10 kilometres outside Katima Mulilo. A single-barrel shotgun with two unspent cartridges used in the crime was also seized by the police.
It is alleged that on Wednesday last week Lumamezi woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to go out of the house but the main door was locked and he couldn’t find the keys.
It is understood that the wife had locked the door and hid the keys to protect her husband who has apparently “lost his mind” in recent weeks.
Lumamezi allegedly started hitting the door and this woke up his wife who then advised him to go back to bed. He however became angry and went to their safe and took his shotgun and went after the wife.
It was then that the wife ran and hid herself under the bed in their children’s bedroom.
Lumamezi followed her to the room and fired a shot in the air. Upon firing the first shot the victim’s 14-year-old daughter and Lumamezi’s stepdaughter escaped from the house through the window and went to inform the villagers that the father had shot the mother.
Lumamezi’s wife then attempted to escape but was seen by the suspect who proceeded to shoot her in the right thigh and she fell to the ground. The suspect allegedly pointed the gun at her chest. She however grabbed the gun and they started wrestling for it and the wife managed to grab it from him.
By this time people from the village were already outside the house and they forced their way in and came to the rescue of the woman. She was rushed to the Katima Mulilo state hospital in a private car and is now in a stable condition.
Lumamezi was arrested the same night.
At his first appearance in court on Friday Lumamezi told the court he would wish to conduct his own defence. He pleaded guilty to the charge of one count of attempted murder laid against him. This however was not accepted by state prosecutor George Matali.
Matali informed the court that Lumamezi’s plea could not be accepted because of the “mental disorder” he had developed in recent weeks. With this in mind prosecutor Matali proposed that Lumamezi be sent for mental observation to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
This was accepted by magistrate Vincent Nzaca, and he postponed the case to February 29 to allow for further investigations, and for Lumamezi to be sent for psychiatric assessment.
Although the wife and the family members had pleaded with the authorities to release him on bail because he is not in his right mind he remains in custody.