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One dead, nine others hospitalised on the Copperbelt in suspected food poisoning, police say

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A 26-year-old man of Mpongwe has died while nine of his colleagues have been hospitalised for suspected poisoning from food they consumed.

Coilard Chisamba, a general worker along with his colleagues started to feel dizzy after consuming the food comprising Nshima, eggs, soya chunks, goat meat and small fish.

Unfortunately for him, he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital, while nine of his colleagues have been hospitalised.

Copperbelt Province commanding officer Peacewell Mweemba said the incident occurred on December 13th at around 15:00 hours at Somawhe Estates.

He said the incident was reported by the deceased’s older brother.

“Brief facts of the matter are that the following mentioned workers, namely Robert Kamponge, aged 38, Salachi Gilbert aged 52, Mesaya Chitangama aged 19, Abednego aged 18, Joshua Silomba aged 27, Benson Manase aged 27, Kennedy Mulai aged 24 ,Philimon Chiboshi aged 40 and Mukuka Pius aged 25 all reported on duty at Somawhe Farms, where they operate at the chemical shed,” he said.

He said, Coillard Chisamba, the now deceased along with two others were assigned to cut chemical empty containers of 20 liters and 25 liters into smaller pieces for recycling.

Mr Mweemba said while others were assigned to mix chemicals in readiness to be used to spray in the field.

“The workers usually have their lunch at 12:00 hours after contributing mealie meal and relish which they went with from their various homes. One of the workers was assigned to cook nshima at lunch time, which all the ten as a group ate with different relish which included small fish, eggs, soya chunks and goat meat,” he said.

He explained that after having nshima, they also drank water from the farm tap.

Mr Mweemba said however, after a short moment, each one of them started feeling dizzy and were rushed to the farm clinic where they were later referred to Mpongwe Mission Hospital.

He said unfortunately, Coilard Chisamba was pronounced dead.

“Police rushed to the hospital and found six of the victims admitted to Mpongwe Mission Hospital, where they found the victims being attended to by medical personnel. Three other victims were referred to Roan General Hospital where they are admitted,” he said.

He added that the cause of the poisoning is not yet known and Somawhe management is yet to be engaged to establish the cause.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 15th December, 2023)

Lifestyle

Assualt accused Army officer’s wife now claims bed sores caused the wounds on her son

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THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has set March 11 this year as judgement in a case a Zambia Army officer’s wife is accused of assaulting her four-year-old step son using different weapons like a hosepipe and knife.

But when winding up her defence yesterday, the accused, Longwe Ngosa, 30, did not cause the wound marks on her son’s body but that the marks on his back were caused by bed sores.

Ngosa added that child developed bed sores when he was admitted to University Teaching Hospitals (UTH) after he injured his leg while playing.

She said he got the “sore beds” due to the sleeping position in the hospital.

Ngosa said this yesterday in a matter she is charged with assault on a child which allegedly happened between April 1 and July 31, 2023.

The housewife of Apollo Military Camp is accused of assaulting a juvenile we shall call, IB, and occasioned him actual bodily harm.

The assault the child came to light through a viral Facebook clip where IB was filmed narrating to his teacher how his mother had been beating him using different weapons, including a knife.

Ngosa was found with a case to answer by Lusaka magistrate Mutinta Mwenya and she is currently on her defence.

The accused, who initially told the court that her son was assaulted by her class teacher on several occasions, yesterday told the court that the wounds on the victim’s back were caused by bed sores.

Ngosa also claimed the other wound marks on his stomach were as a result of an allergy.

“He developed them when he ate relish he does not eat. That was an allergy,” she narrated.

Ngosa also narrated that she started living with IB when he was 15months and has always considered him as “my child and not my stepson”.

In cross examination, state prosecutor Chisenga Malama asked Ngosa to confirm that she never produced any medical record to show what happened to IB.

“No, I did not,” the accused said.

“Confirm you never made any official complaint to school about the sores on the child,” Ms Malama asked as the accused said no.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 29th February, 2024)

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Local Courts

State opposes lawsuit to compensate minister, PS for malicious prosecution.

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THE State has opposed the lawsuit filed by Minister of Small Medium Enterprises Minister Elias Mubanga, Permanent Secretary for special duties Patrick Mucheleka and others who are seeking damages for malicious.

The State has argued that Mr Mucheleka and others are not entitled to the reliefs they are seeking because their detention was not malicious.

It adds that there was reasonable cause why they were arrested.

The other plaintiffs are UPND national youth secretary Samuel Ngwira, Chinyimba Bwalya and Kelvin Bwalya.

The five sued the State seeking among other reliefs, damages for false imprisonment.

In their statement of claim, Mr Mucheleka and others submitted that they were apprehended and arrested without reasonable cause by the Zambia Police Service for 31 days.

The added that they were arrested from September 13, 2020 to October 3, 2020 at Kasama Police Station on aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property charges.

Further, Mr Mucheleka and others submitted that during trial, the State set them free through a nolle prosequi.

But the plaintiffs now want to be compensated for mental distress, mental anguish, emotional distress, inconvenience and embarrassment among other reliefs.

However, in reply to the lawsuit, the State submits that it will submit that there was reasonable cause for the plaintiffs’ arrest and detention and that they therefore, the reliefs they seek should not be granted.

It adds that on September 13,2020, the the police received a report of aggravated robbery from the District Registration Officer to the effect that members of UPND attacked and robbed the mobile registration office and damaged property there, and fled immediately after committing the said offence.

The State will further state at trial that with the assistance of eye witnesses, police instituted investigations and recovered a generator at a house in Chilamba village which led to the detention and arrest of the plaintiffs.

It adds that the State will aver that the plaintiffs were lawfully detained and arrested.

During their detention, the plaintiffs were allowed to be visited by several of their party members as well as their lawyers.

The State will aver that police action was conducted within the law and that there was no malice in their detention and arrest.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 28th February, 2024)

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Lifestyle

Unnatural offence suspects provide fake names to police

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TWO male student nurses who were previously charged with unnatural offence have now been accused of providing false information to a public officer during the investigation.

Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said, it was revealed during the course of investigations that the individual initially identified as Chisenga Chanda, aged 20, of Matero, had misrepresented his identity.

He said the actual name is Brighton Banda, aged 25, of New Avondale, and a third-year Student Nurse at a named institution.

Similarly, Matthews Kabwe, aged 20, of Matero, is not who he claimed to be but Darius Musukwa, aged 20, of Kamwala South, and he too is a third-year Student Nurse at a named institution.

“Both individuals have been additionally charged with the offense of giving false information to a Public Officer Contrary to Section 125 of the Penal Code Act Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia. As a result, they are currently detained in police custody,” he said.

Mr Hamoonga said police is committed to upholding the law and ensuring the accuracy of information provided during investigations.

“We urge the public to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and to refrain from engaging in activities that may obstruct or impede the course of justice,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 28th February, 2024)

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