15 January 2013

Zambia: Heinous Killings - Probe Must Include All


THE police must indeed stoke up investigations into the horrendous murders that have left families and the nation at large shell-shocked and grieving.

Zambians are anxiously waiting for law enforcement officers to round up all the perpetrators and give a convincing explanation on the root cause of this strange pattern of atrocious killings.

A special team should be constituted to cautiously weave through all aspects in each of the murders that have been committed in Lusaka, Kabwe, Namwala and other areas involving taxi drivers and defenceless women as victims.

In one shocking and unconvincing 'explanation' a suspect in the reprehensible murder of a Lusaka taxi driver told police that he and his accomplice wanted to raise money by selling the vehicle they snatched.

This statement does not tie up!

If indeed the suspects only wanted to raise money through the sale of the vehicle, did they have to savagely pluck out an eye, cut out the tongue as well as the gullet?

No one sane man will dismember a body in the manner they did.

The 20-year-old Mathew Chipili did not have to die that way. Police must extend the probe to possible buyers or recipients of human body parts.

Ruth Mbandu, the 19-year-old girl who was killed in Lusaka last year in July, was not driving but her body parts were removed including her facial skin.

Lusaka taxi driver Joseph Simfukwe's head and private parts were removed and up to now they have not been traced though suspects have been apprehended.

Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu has given orders to Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani and her team to immediately clamp down on perpetrators of these strange and grossly wicked acts.

Yes, Ms Libongani and her command must come up with a modern strategy to round up these misfits and prosecute them.

It appears that there are some people in the backroom directing the youth they have engaged to attack vulnerable people in society and get body parts.

Assuming that the police have netted the real suspects, it is difficult to imagine that the people in custody have been acting on their own.

The police intelligence wing and officers from the Criminal Investigations Department should be spread out in all parts of the country to get clues, even casual ones, to ensure that valuable information is gathered.

Officers should comb all areas including bars, night clubs, and other public places.

India is grappling with rape cases two of which happened on buses and the world's largest democracy has placed all law enforcement officers on red alert.

Police in this Asian country have engaged communities, women movements and various organisations at different levels.

The war against gender-based violence in India has so far yielded positive results because the community has actively been involved and law enforcement officers are using modern methods of policing.

The Zambia Police Service should equally stir up its community directorate so that law enforcement officers reach out to all corners of the country.

The probe should not be restricted to Lusaka, Kabwe and the Copperbelt, but should be extended to rural outposts because criminals do set up hide-outs in far-flung areas when the probe is intensified.

Psychologists and psychiatrists must be engaged to work with criminologists who are in the service in investigating these heinous crimes.

The Church should not be ignored and we must rest this matter now!

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