Vespers’ death inquest opens
By Staff Reporter
The inquest into the case of slain University of Zambia (UNZA) student Vespers Shimunzhila has started in the Coroner’s Court.
Magistrate Sylvia Munyinya has set February 11, 2019 as the date for commencement of the inquest after the matter came before court on Monday.
This was after a State Prosecutor Zalila Sakala from the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) informed the court that none of the parties in the matter were before court.
“Your honour we intend to call 12 state witnesses to appear before the Coroner’s Court but none of our witnesses are present,” said Sakala.
He said he would prepare summons to subpoena the witnesses to testify in the inquest.
In October last year, the fourth-year student in the School of Education died during a student riot over delayed payment of meal allowances.
Various stakeholders including student bodies demanded an independent inquiry into the death of Shimunzhila.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Lilian Siyuni then ordered for an inquest to ascertain the cause of the death.
Hearing of an inquest was expected to commence Monday but could not take off due to the unavailability of the 12 intended state witnesses.
At this point the Coroner Magistrate Munyinya was left with no option but to adjourn the hearing to February 11.
A coroner is an official who holds inquests into violent, sudden or suspicious deaths.