IT is now day four of the rescue mission in Chingola where bodies of more than 30 miners are being attempted to be retrieved following a mining accident.
The recent update as of today is that no body has yet been retrieved with experts from different sectors making efforts to retrieve the bodies.
27 family members have since gone forward to the secretariat to give identities of their missing loved ones.
President Hakainde Hichilema and his team are also expected to be in Chingola to give support in the ongoing rescue mission.
Ministers of Mines and Minerals Development as well as Copperbelt, Paul Kabuswe and Elisha Matambo have called for calm as experts are working at retrieval of the bodies.
Mr Kabuswe in address has said Government has sent all necessary equipment on ground and has assured that updates will continue being given.
He says the rescue team is working round the clock to ensure that the bodies are retrieved and that progress has been made pertaining to the area where water had collected.
“I just want to emphasize that in an operation of this magnitude of trying to retrieve bodies, there is a challenge that we are mindful of. It is an open pit and it is rain season. So even as we have competent people and enough equipment, we have to assess the ground. What is tricky is that these are not properly dug tunnels and so we need to assess the ground to strike a balance. ”
“We need to make sure the rescue team is safe because we may end up having a disaster within a disaster if we have any ground movement, which will create a bigger problem. That is what is making it look like we are taking time. We want to act as fast as we can , but at the same time be mindful that we need to protect the rescue team,” he said.
Mr Kabuswe further expressed disappointment at those that are politicising the tragic incident.
And Mr Matambo said 27 families have gone forward to the secretariat with names of the people missing.
He appealed for any other families who suspect a missing family member to go forward and give names.
Mr Matambo also stated that 11 excavators have been deployed in the area to hasten the rescue mission.
“The official position is that we have not retrieved any body as at now. So ignore the social media postings. We will update the nation when bodies are retrieved. We are very hopeful that we are heading somewhere because of the measures taken,” he said.
He added that President Hichilema is expected on the Copperbelt to give support to the rescue team as well as affected families.
(Mwebantu, Monday, 4th December, 2023)
Lusaka woman arrested as voice note alleging theft by CB minister traced to her phone.
A 59-YEAR-OLD woman of Lusaka’s Makeni area has been arrested following the circulation of a voice note implicating Copperbelt Province Minister Elisha Matambo in alleged financial misconduct.
Rebecca Mulenga of Christ the Redeemer Catholic church is alleged to have been the one circulating the audio on various WhatsApp groups linked to her phone.
She has since been charged with libel, C section 191 of penalty code Cap.87 and Harassment utilising means of Electronic communication C section .69 of Cyber security and Cyber-Crime Act of 2021.
Copperbelt Province commanding officer Peacewell Mweemba said the incident is alleged to have occurred between January 1st and 31st.
“The Anti- fraud unit at Copperbelt Division Headquarters on January 31st, 2024 at 18:00 hours, received a report from the Copperbelt Minister Hon Elisha Matambo, after a voice note went viral on social media platforms alleging that the minister was a thief who had stolen public funds and that he has since acquired several trucks for sale in Ndola along Vitanda street and other properties among other accusations,” he said.
He said based on the report, officers instituted investigations into the matter.
Mr Mweemba said a search was conducted and preliminary clues indicated that the culprit who posted the audio on the WhatsApp group was in Makeni Lusaka.
“Further, the officers were then dispatched to Lusaka where Rebecca Mutale Mulenga, aged 59 years also of Christ the Redeemer Catholic main Church Makeni – Lusaka was apprehended on Thursday February 9th, 2024 and was transferred to Ndola the following day Friday February 10th,2024. A phone allegedly used in the commission of crime was recovered, seized from her and subjected for forensic scientific extract of the voice notes as well as examining other incrementing evidence at ZICTA on February 14th, 2024,” he said.
Mr Mweemba said the results were received from ZICTA on Friday , February 16th, 2024.
“The suspect has since been formally charged and arrested. she is still in police custody pending an appearance of Court on Monday 19th February 19th, 2024,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)
Eight-year-old killed by speeding vehicle, police say
BARELY two weeks of having schools open, an eight-year-old grade one pupil of North-Western Province has tragically lost her life after being hit by a vehicle.
Loveness Kalusa was on her way to school when a Toyota Hilux being driven by James Moono aged 50, hit her and she sustained fatal injuries.
The driver is alleged to hit the victim due to driving with excessive speed.
North-Western Province commanding officer Dennis Moola said the incident occurred on Monday, February 19th around 06:49 hours at Kayonge area along Mutanda-Lumwana road in Kalumbila district.
He said the suspect was driving a Toyota Hilux registration BAA 6465 belonging to North-Western Energy Cooperation.
“Due to the impact the victim sustained a very deep cut on the left pelvic joint, suspected fractured, bruised forehead and multiple bruises on the left side of the body.The motor vehicle had slight dents on the front bumper,” he said.
Mr Moola added that the suspect has been detained and charged with Causing Death by Dangerous Driving.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)
Farmer discovers three dead bodies while carrying out routine check on his maize
IN a bizarre and gruesome state of events, a farmer of Kasisi area of Lusaka province has discovered three dead bodies in his maize field.
The three bodies of two females aged between 22 and 25 and a male aged between 30 and 35 were discovered meters apart from each other.
The bodies which are yet to be identified are believed to have all been gruesomely axed on the neck and head areas.
Police have launched investigations behind the gruesome murder of the three whose bodies were in a decomposed state.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga who confirmed the gruesome incident to Mwebantu said it was reported on February 18th, 2024.
He said the axe used in the murder was also found at the scene some meters away from the bodies.
Mr Hamoonga said the incident was reported by Isaiah Lweela aged 47 of Kasisi Mine area.
“Brief facts are that on February 18, 2024 at around 15:00 hours, the reporter went to his farm to check on his maize field. As he was going round, he smelled a bad odor and saw a lot of flies nearby. He decided to check what was there only to find a dead body of a person. He went back to the village and informed people who went to the scene in large numbers and Later on discovered two more dead bodies and decided to report the matter to Police,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga said the Scene of Crime was visited by police and the bodies were three, two females aged between 22 and 25 and one of a male person aged between 30 and 35.
“The male body was found in the field with a deep cut on the head, clothed in a blue jean trousers, and white sneakers were recovered about 30 meters away from the body. 500 meters from the first body was another body of a female person with a deep cut on the right side of the neck. The third body of a female was discovered 80 meters from the second body with a deep cut on the head,” he said.
He explained that the axe suspected to have been used was recovered.
Mr Hamoonga said a yellow sweat shirt, white trousers, blue T-shirt, blue wrapper, a black cycling, a blue short and pink slippers were found and picked 30 meters from the third body.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)