Lusaka woman gets death sentence for poisoning own children

Lusaka High Court Judge Getrude Chawatama has sentenced a 28-year-old woman of Lusaka’s Matero township to death by hanging for killing two of her children by poisoning them using Doom insecticide.

Miriam Mulenga poisoned her three children in January 2017, but one of them survived.

She also consumed the same substance and was admitted to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), but did not die.

Mulenga was charged with two counts of murder but pleaded not guilty.

She said her husband caused her to behave in such a manner because of the way he was treating her.

And delivering her judgment, Tuesday, judge Chawatama found that it was not in dispute that the children died of poisoning.

Justice Chawatama said the State, which had called five witnesses to testify in the matter, proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Mulenga administered the poison with a view to kill her children.

She said Mulenga administered the poisonous substances to her children and did not show any remorse for her actions.

“There is no doubt in my mind that on that fateful day, the accused caused the death of two children by administering poison to them, not only endangering their lives but also causing their death,” she said.

Justice Chawatama added that the expert witnesses that testified in the matter had ruled out the aspect of insanity, as Mulenga was normal during the act and only acted strangely after seeing the bodies of her children before they were buried.

She added that the evidence of the prosecution was not challenged by Mulenga who elected to remain silent in her defence.

Justice Chawatama further said Mulenga had a choice to confide in her friends but only did it after she had administered Doom to the two babies, including the one who survived.

She found Mulenga guilty on both counts of murder and sentenced her to death by hanging.

“I find that the accused did not suffer from insanity at the time. I find the accused guilty and convict her accordingly. I sentence you to death by hanging until pronounced dead,” justice ruled Chawatama.

After the judgement, Mulenga’s husband said although he had forgiven her, she deserved the sentence because his children could not be brought back to life.




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