Murder accused Tshabu Benos today told the Lusaka High Court that she stabbed Reeves Malambo in self defense when the two were fighting over his allegations of cheating.
Opening her defense before judge Gertrude Chawatama, Benos said Malambo used to insert his fingers in her vagina and smell them in order to ascertain whether or not she had slept with other men.
She detailed her abusive relationship with him but told the court that she could not report him to the police because Malambo said he had them under his control.
Benos, who sobbed through her testimony, narrated that on the material day, she had gone to church and later went to see her sick niece who was admitted at the University Teaching Hospital.
She said from there, she proceeded to see her sister-in-law in Rhodes Park where she and her auntie drunk some wine.
Benos said she ignored several calls from Malambo which he placed on different numbers and she found messages where he accused her of b***hing around.
“When I opened the phone, I found missed calls and WhatsApp messages. I opened the message and it read, ‘You have started bitching around? You will see’,” Benos said adding that she still didn’t call him back because she knew he would shout at her.
She said around 21:00 hours, her brother Mumba, whom she was initially jointly charged with, went to pick her up and she found Malambo’s car parked in her yard
Benos said was so pressed that she rushed to the toilet in her bedroom as it was the nearest.
“When I entered the house, my 12-year-old daughter Memory came to tell me that Uncle Reeves was home. I was pressed and the nearest toilet was in my bedroom so I grabbed my car keys and rushed inside. As I was going in, I saw Reeves, who followed me in the bedroom. He asked where I was and I told him, ‘sweetie, I thought I told you’. As I was dropping the car keys on the bed, I noticed Reeves was locking the bedroom…I rushed in the toilet, Reeves stood by the door, when I saw him I pulled my trousers quickly as I was on my periods,” she testified.
She said Malambo asked her where she had been again but before she answered him, he pushed her head and slapped her.
She narrated that whilst he was beating her, Malambo asked her to undress so that he could perform his ritual of putting his fingers in her private parts to check if she had sex with another man.
“He told me ‘let see your pussycat! You were F**king another man’. I held on to my trousers and said ‘I won’t do that because it is disgusting, I told why do you like this habit?’ My Lady, each time he suspected I was cheating, he used to check my private parts with his fingers and smell them, sometimes he would force himself on me and have sex even if I was not ready,” Benos testified.
She said at that point, he grabbed her and hit her against the wall insisting that he wanted to check her private parts.
Benos testified that she run away from him wanting to open the locked door but Malambo grabbed her by her hair, held her by her neck and strangled her.
“Whilst this was happening, My boyfriend told me ‘are you are never satisfied? How many times do I need to f**k you and how many times should I f**k you for you to get satisfied?’” she said.
An emotionally charged Benos said Malambo pushed her to the ground and told her that his friends saw her at UNZA with other men.
“I was crying and told him, ‘sweetie I was not at UNZA, you are beating me for no reason. Are you sure it was me?’ Then he said ‘yes it was you’. Then I said ‘so what if I was seeing other men? I will be doing the same thing you have been doing to me for the last 12 years’,” she said.
“Then he said ‘so you want to be seeing other men? Then you will see I will cut you and deform you so that we see how other men will be looking at you. I will kill you today’.”
Benos said when she was still on the floor, she saw Malambo coming from the bedroom pantry with a knife which she had bought from salaula.
She told the court that Malambo slashed the knife twice on her stomach forcing her to shout for help as he threatened to kill her.
“He then grabbed my left hand and twisted in the back, I felt a sharp pain on my wrist and I said ‘sweetie you are hurting me’, I however managed to twist and managed to face him and held his hand and the knife while I staggered backward,” she said amidst sobs.
“He grabbed me around the hip and put me on his left shoulder. All I wanted was for him to let go of me because he was going to hit me on the floor, in that confusion I hit him with the knife on the right side, he fell on one knee and said he was hurt and he dropped me.”
Judge Chawatama then adjourned the case for five minutes to allow Benos to calm down.
When the case resumed, Benos admitted of stabbing her lover in self defense.
She claimed that Malambo wanted to kill her as such she stabbed him when he tried to throw her.
She said when Malambo died, she felt like 100,000 tones were loaded on her chest and she felt horrible.
Benos said there was nothing she could do to bring back her lost love who was her best friend and everything to her.
She said Malambo used to force himself on her by having sex as the best way to end an argument even after beating her and she had no option but to give in.
She testified that Malambo obtained call records to check which male caller was constantly calling her and if he did not get a satisfactory answer, he would beat her.
Benos said she couldn’t report the matter to the police as advised by the telecommunication company for divulging her call records as Malambo used to brag that the police where under him as his businesses were in line with them.
She testified that she couldn’t report Malambo to police for abuse due to the same reason.
Asked as to why she didn’t leave her abusive lover, Benos said when she met Malambo, their relationship was peaceful.