A GARDENER has testified that the deceased Kabulonga Boys Secondary School pupil told him that “I will die”, after he rescued him from some Twin Palm Secondary School pupils who beat him up using golf sticks.

This is a matter in which four former Twin Palm Secondary School pupils aged between 16 and 19, are charged with one count of murder.

Three of the accused persons are juveniles while one, Elvis Nsokolo, is 19-years-old.

It is alleged that the four, on December 4, 2020 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together, killed Ryan Phiri, who was a grade 12 pupil at Kabulonga Boys Secondary School.

When the matter came up for continued trial before Lusaka High Court judge Sharon Newa, Wednesday, Isaac Lungu, 21, of Mtendere East told the court he was a garden boy in the teacher’s compound in Kabulonga.

He testified that on the material day, he was at work around 11:00 hours cutting some flowers when he saw a pupil at Kabulonga Boys Secondary School running towards him.

Lungu said after two to five minutes, he heard another person screaming that “guys you are going to kill me”.

He said he rushed there and found that some pupils from Twin Palm Secondary School were beating the person with golf sticks.

“They were five of them. Three had golf sticks and the other two didn’t have. I concentrated on rescuing the boy they were beating,” Lungu said.

He said he managed to rescue the boy after which the pupils left but said they were going to get their group and would come back for the boy.

Lungu said he got the boy and went to hide him behind an old building before he continued cutting some flowers.

He said about three minutes later, he saw a group of about 12 or 11 people, with others still carrying golf sticks.

“They asked where the person (the one he had rescued was) and I told them that he had run away but in the meantime he was still hidden behind the old building,” Lungu said.

He said after the group left, he got some water and went to wash the boy who he later came to know as Ryan, as he was bleeding from the ears and had mud on his face.

Lungu added that the boy was not able to sit.

He said he took off his shirt and started washing his face as his eyes were closed.

Lungu said the boy also had difficulties breathing and was saying “my friend, I will die”.

He said he later called a taxi and took Ryan to the University Teaching Hospital and also contacted his father.

“I went to get a taxi driver and requested for help with taking the boy to the hospital as he had been badly beaten. The taxi driver agreed and suggested that we should first go to the police to report before going to the hospital. But at the police station, the police advised us to take him to UTH and we did that. Before we reached UTH, I asked him to give me his father’s number and we managed to call his father and informed him that his son had been beaten by the boys from Twin Palm Secondary School and that we were taking him to UTH,” Lungu said.

He said when they reached UTH, Ryan was taken inside the hospital and that his parents also went to the hospital.

Lungu said he later came to know that the boy he had taken to the hospital had died.

In cross examination, the witness was asked whether the deceased had told him who beat him up or described any physical features of his assailants, but he said no.

Trial continues on March 19, this year.

In the previous sitting, Ryan’s mother testified that she had hope that her son would recover and get to write the exams he had been studying for.

Sharon Syambizi of Lusaka’s Barlastone area, told the court that when she saw the condition her child was in at the hospital, she became emotional and confused that her son who was well in the morning of that fateful day, was in that state.

She further testified that before her son died, he told her that he was beaten by a mob of pupils from Twin Palm Secondary School who used golf sticks.