12 January 2013

Zambia: Botched Taxi Driver Killing - Two Nabbed

A TAXI driver of Kabwe has narrated how he narrowly escaped death yesterday when two men who hired him tried to strangle him to death with a wire.

Police have since picked up the two men who they believe could be behind the recent spate of killings involving taxi drivers in the district.

The two attempted to kill the taxi driver after they hired him from a night club within the town centre to Lukanga Township.

But the suspects' mission to kill the driver Eugene Mulenga, 24, failed after he raised alarm, promting the men to flee. The suspects were, however, later apprehended by police.

Both Central Province deputy police chief Andrew Mbewe and the victim confirmed the incident in separate interviews yesterday.

Mulenga, who was briefly admitted to Kabwe General Hospital, said he was hired by two men to Lukanga Township. But upon reaching Momboshi Street, the two ordered him to stop the car.

He said immediately after he stopped the vehicle, one of them started pulling him from behind with a wire. Mulenga explained that realising he was under attack, he pressed on the hooter continuosly.

He said the more they squeezed his neck, the more he hooted, causing residents in the area to wake up to check what was happening, forcing the suspects to ran away.

Mr Mbewe said Mulenga, who accompanied the officers during their operations later, was able to identify the suspects before police arrested them. He said the two men had failed to give police satisfactory answers.

Last year in October, another 24-year-old Kabwe taxi driver, Aaron Hasanda was brutally murdered and his body was dumped near Kaputula area in circumstances suggesting that the victim was strangled with a wire before being stripped naked and his car stolen.

Hasanda's aunt, Mrs Hanita Hachubi called on the police to ensure those responsible for the murder were brought to book.

The brutal killing of Hasanda came barely a month after another taxi driver was killed in a similar manner and his body dumped at the same spot while two other deaths of taxi drivers were recorded with motor vehicles stolen but no arrests were made.

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