12 November 2012

Zambia: Rufunsa Murder - UPND Official Bauleni Nabbed

POLICE in Lusaka have apprehended United Party for National Development (UPND) Lusaka Province chairperson Adrian Bauleni in connection with the killing of Patriotic Front (PF) member, Menyani Zulu.

As Mr Bauleni was being picked up from his residence, other officers searched UPND offices in Libala Township as the probe into the Thursday killing of the PF member intensified.

Police assistant spokesperson Esther Mwata and UPND lawyer Martha Mushipe confirmed in separate interviews the search that was conducted around 11:00 hours amid tight security.

"Yes, we did carry out a search at the UPND offices in Libala. The search is in connection with the murder of Mr Zulu that happened in Rufunsa and so far, we cannot disclose our findings because we do not want to jeopardise our investigations," Ms Mwata said.

Ms Mushipe said separately that more than 10 police officers were involved in the search at the offices.

Mr Bauleni, 66, of Ibex Hill area was picked up and detained at Lusaka Central Police to assist with investigations.

Ms Mushipe said her client had not yet been charged but added that UPND had information that police were looking for more party members whom they want to jointly charge with Mr Bauleni.

"Yes, my client was picked up this morning from his home in Ibex area and he has not been charged yet but they have detained him in pending investigations," Ms Mushipe said.

She said it was surprising that her client who had just been discharged from hospital after nursing wounds from an assault had been picked up in connection with the killing of Mr Zulu.

Ms Mushipe claimed that there was "overwhelming evidence" that Mr Zulu died after falling off a moving vehicle adding that the incident happened in the presence of a Chongwe Police Criminal Investigation Officer (CIO).

"I wonder why my client has been detained when there is enough evidence that Mr Zulu died after falling off a moving vehicle," Ms Mushipe charged.

Mr Zulu was buried on Saturday at the Old Leopards Hill Cemetery. He died on Thursday after an attack by suspected UPND and MMD cadres during a by-election in Rufunsa ward three.

President Michael Sata has since directed police to thoroughly investigate the matter and bring culprits to book.

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