27-year-old Lusaka man to hang for killing son 

By Staff Reporter
THE Lusaka High Court has sentenced to death a 27-year-old man of John Howard compound for killing his 31 months old son whom he buried within the  premises of Daso Primary School where he worked as a caretaker.
George Phiri said he killed his son using a pesticide which he put in super shake because he was angered after his wife Eunice Chola told him he was not the father of the child.
Phiri killed his son on June 26 last year and secretly buried him within the school premises.
It was only discovered after several searches.
Phiri, who got the child  from its mother, gave different versions as to his whereabouts prompting the police to charge him with murder.
He later confessed to have killed his son after he was prayed for by a pastor and led police to his house within the school premises where a bottle of the poisonous substance was found under his bed.
The child’s body was exhumed and a postmortem was conducted to establish the cause of death.
Judge Sharon Newa found Phiri guilty of the offence, saying he had malice aforethought when he killed and buried his son within the school premises.
However, during hearing of the case, Phiri in his defence said his wife Eunice angered him when she told him that the child was not his.
The court heard that Eunice had gone for a drinking spree and when she returned, she was engaged in an argument with Phiri and she ended up telling him that the child was not his.
Eunice would repeat the same statement whenever she was drunk.
Phiri said the statement disturbed him as he did not want his thoughts to be crowded with a message of the child not being his.
He said he bought doom and super shake and got the child from its mother and proceeded to his home with intentions to end his life and that of his son because he was broken owing to the revelations that the child was not his.
Phiri laced the super shake with the pesticide and administered it on his son and drunk a little of the substance too after which they fell asleep.
The following morning at 06:00 hours, he noticed that the child died and  decided to burry him behind a classroom block.
Phiri said what he did was bad but he could not disclose the incident to his wife Eunice but confessed to Milota Simfukwe, a pastor of Shepherd Ministries after his wife’s family put pressure on him relating to the whereabouts of the child.
Judge Newa said it was not in dispute that Phiri gave the child super shake which he laced with doom as it was clear that what motivated him to give the child the poisonous drink is because his wife told him that the child was not his.
She said Phiri was in control of his faculties and that he planned to kill the child and if he wanted to kill himself he would not have taken the substance in moderation and giving much to a younger child.
Judge Newa said the defence of diminished responsibility failed because Phiri did not show that he was suffering from a condition of arrested or retarded development of mind or any inherent causes which would have been induced by a disease or injury which impaired his mental responsibility.
The judge said the act of murder was calculated by Phiri  to kill his child as he believed that it was not his.
She convicted him, saying he had malice aforethought when he believed that the child was not  his and he carefully planned and executed the act and covered up by burying his son behind the classroom block.
Judge Newa ruled that the State proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and found him guilty of murder.
She sentenced him to death by hanging until he is also pronounced dead.