Publication Date



In 2017, the appellants, being dissatisfied with the judgment of the Kabwe High Court appealed to the Supreme Court. They contended among other things, that the trial court erred in law to convict the appellants of murder. They further stated that the court erred in law to sentence the appellants to life imprisonment, as the sentence was excessive.

This case accorded the Supreme Court a great opportunity to discuss the belief in witchcraft and the offending conduct premised on that belief, as well as the multiple violations that are coupled with the same belief. Remarkably, the Court moved away from its precedent that was set prior to this decision that a belief in witchcraft, though unreasonable, was prevalent in our community and that such a belief is an extenuating factor. Thus, the Supreme Court in this case held that a belief in witchcraft should reach the threshold required for provocation if it is to serve as an extenuating factor to an accused person facing a charge of murder. This departure was done in the interest of justice and development of jurisprudence.