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The trial of four Sibalatani family members accused of having shot and killed Lemmy Mutonga, 52, in 2019, was postponed to tomorrow (Wednesday) by the Katima Mulio Regional Court.

All four accused persons—George, his father Clements, Clayton, and Patrick Sibalatani—pleaded not guilty to the murder charges at the start of the trial in August last year.

Mutonga was shot as he and his other family members were returning cattle to Naziabo in the Nankuntwe area of the Kabbe South constituency after the water subsided.

Both families claimed ownership of the land for many years, which led to the shooting after a protracted land dispute between the families.

The state's case started with the first witness on August 16, 2022, before the trial was postponed until January 16, 2023, for the court, prosecution, defense counsels for the accused, the accused, and other court officials to travel to Nakuntwe's Naziyabo cattle post to inspect the scene where the shooting took place.

On Monday, they traveled to the scene, where inspection and pointing by the witness and the four accused persons were conducted.

However, the trial was postponed due to the non-availability of photographs requested by the defense counsel.

The Court ordered that the photographs be extracted and printed from the phones of the second accused, Clement Sibalatani, and that of the deceased, Lemmy Mutonga, and be made available to both state and defense counsel for purposes of cross-examination of the first witness, who is still under oath.

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NBC Digital News

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Sililo Mubiana