10 November 2012

Zambia: Eight Nabbed Over Mpulungu Rumpus

POLICE have arrested eight people for rioting and throwing 'missiles' at a police station in Mpulungu on Thursday.

The arrests were made when residents took to the streets after a police vehicle registration number ZP 2041 B carrying prison inmates from Nchelenge hit and killed a five year-old boy identified as Dismas Simpasa.

Northern Province police chief Mary Chikwanda who confirmed the incident said the accident occurred at Mupata Market in Mupata Village on the Mpulungu/Mbala Road as Dismas was crossing the road unaccompanied.

"Our police officer Samuel Luwisha of Kasama Police Station stopped to see if the boy could be helped but irate villagers begun approaching the vehicle with stones and threatened violence forcing him to reverse and head to Mpulungu Police Station," Ms Chikwanda said.

The angry mob tried to set the police vehicle ablaze at the scene of the accident before the driver sped off.

The unruly crowd of villagers, however, followed the police van to the station where they threw stones and other missiles shattering window panes.

Meanwhile, in the town centre, businesse houses closed when residents, angered by the death of the young boy clashed with police.

Police fired teargas canisters to disperse the angry villagers who continued fighting back.

The protesters then blocked the main road with stones and sticks and vowed to stone incoming and outgoing motorists.

Commuter buses leaving Mpulungu had to be escorted by police up to the check point leading out of the town.

Calm, however, returned to the district by late afternoon.

And two Grade 12 pupils and one teacher have been arrested in Luwingu District for being in possession of leaked examination papers.

And the Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia (BETUZ) is saddened by the examination malpractices being reported.

Northern Province education officer Ngosa Kotati who confirmed the pupils' arrest said the duo was found with hidden materials before entering the examination room which were believed to have been sourced from Mansa.

The teacher was found in possession of assorted Grade seven examination papers.

Mr Kotati appealed to pupils to refrain from malpractices and rely on their intellect instead of relying on leaked papers and smuggling materials into examination rooms.

He said being found with such material meant being expelled which would derail the journey to acquiring an education.

Mr Kotati said apart from the Luwingu incident, the rest of the province had recorded incident free examinations.

The only problem worth noting was the high number of absconders attributed to the caterpillar catching season.

Chief Mumporokoso, to avert this, had banned picking caterpillars till today to allow Grade sevens complete their exams.

The worst were the Grade nines most of whom preferred catching caterpillars to writing their examinations.

BETUZ Northern Province chairperson Obby Chisala said the people involved in the circulation, usage and promotion of leakages were compromising the standards of the Zambian education system.

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