A Zambia Army officer has told the Lusaka High Court that Elvis Nyanga, a Zambia Army soldier accused of murdering seven people in suspected ritual killings that sparked Lusaka in 2016, was working in Solwezi on the alleged dates of crimes.

Lieutenant Colonel Elias Zulu, 45, testified that the accused was however absent for other duties outside the station, on April 7, 2016.

He was testifying in a matter, Lucky Siame, a soldier; Lewis Chishimba, a traditional healer of Lusaka West; Christopher Kasapo, an Office Assistant at the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Nyanga, a soldier of Solwezi, are facing seven counts of murder.

The four are alleged to have murdered Clever Changwe Mwape, William Chela, Elias Phiri, Alex Zulu, Boris Muzumara, Amon Sichamba and Anthony Mwaba between March 5 and April 16, 2016.

When the matter came up for continued defence before Court of Appeal judge Florence Lengalenga who sat as High Court judge, Thursday, Zulu, who is based at Arakan Baracks, told the court that Nyanga worked at Headquarters North Western region, in Solwezi.

He testified that he had brought with him some records namely, the daily parade state from March 2 to April 29, 2016, which were Nyanga’s records from Solwezi region where the accused was stationed.

“The record relating to Nyanga is accounted for by the region where he is stationed. On a daily basis, they produce a parade state,” the defence witness said.

Zulu explained that the daily parade state was a document which showed the number of personnel posted in that region by rank.

He added that it showed the figures of those who were present and those who were absent from work for various reasons.

“For those who are present, only the figures are shown. For those who are absent they are listed by name and categorised as being on leave, other duties in other stations, etc,” Zulu told the court.

Zulu who only read out part of the dates in the said document, explained that on March 15 to 17, 2016, Nyanga’s name was not appearing on those who were absent.

He said that implied that he was at his duty station, working.

Zulu also testified that on April 7, 2016, Nyanga was absent for other duties outside the station where he was based.

Asked to confirm in cross examination by the prosecution that an alternative route from Solwezi to Lusaka existed, the defence witness said he only knew one route from Solwezi which was through Copperbelt and Kitwe.

Defence continues on January 29, next year.