THE Public Protector has called on individuals who have fallen victim to questionable police impoundments of their vehicles to report such incidents promptly.
In a statement issued by her office, Caroline Sokoni expressed concern over a rising trend of unlawful vehicle impounding by certain traffic police officers.
Mrs Sokoni noted that instances of vehicle impounding by the Zambia Police have increased, even when the alleged offence does not warrant impoundment under the law.
Mrs Sokoni observed that in most cases members of the public are law abiding and are willing to pay fines that go into government coffers.
“However, some traffic police officers prefer impounding vehicles as a scheme to solicit bribes from inconvenienced motorists,” she said.
Mrs Sokoni said the act by traffic police officers is obstructing the government’s fight against maladministration and corruption when law enforcement officers must not be the ones who cause these vices to flourish.
She said as an institution mandated by the law to ensure adherence to processes and procedures in public institutions, the Office of the Public Protector will not allow a few officers under the Traffic Department dent the image of the Zambia Police Service due to their failure to follow the laid down procedures when carrying out their duties.
Mrs Sokoni called on the Zambia Police Service Traffic Officers to be professional and avoid procedural improprieties as they execute their duties that lead to the impounding of motor vehicles without proper justification and victimization of members of the public.
The Public Protector appealed to members of the public who have been victims of police impounding their vehicles for questionable reasons to obtain the name and service number of police officers and the police station manning the roadblock and report to the Office of the Public Protector or the Police Public Complaints Commission.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 4th January, 2024)
Retired Major arrested for defiling young maid
A retired Zambia Army major of Makeni Villa in Lusaka has been arrested for allegedly defiling a 15 year old girl who was working as a maid at his house.
Police deputy spokesperson Danny Mwale said the matter was reported to Police by the victim who alleged that she was defiled on several occasions by her guardian only identified as Mr Simutile aged 67.
He said the victim revealed that the suspect had canal knowledge of her on unknown dates, but between 2021 and 2023 at his house.
Mr Mwale said police initial investigations revealed that during the same period, the victim was working as a maid and her monthly pay was being sent direct to her parents in Siavonga District.
He said the victim alleged that Mr Simutile used to have canal knowledge of her when all other family members were not around at home.
“On March 2, 2024 around 16:30 hours, the victim told officers that she sneaked out of the house after she saw the suspect advancing towards her. She ran to the Police station where she reported the matter and immediately Police instituted investigations which led to the arrest of the suspect who was further identified to be a retired Major from the Zambia Army,” Mr Mwale said.
He said the victim, who was immediately moved to a Safe Home, is currently undergoing medical treatment while the suspect is detained in custody waiting to be formally charged.
(Mwebantu, Sunday, 3rd March, 2024)
Two pupils drown in Kafulafuta dam, police say
TWO pupils aged 14 and 12 have drowned in Kafulafuta dam in Masaiti district.
The two children drowned yesterday, Tuesday February 27, at around 15:00 hours.
Copperbelt province police commanding officer, Peacewell Mweemba said the report was made the girls grandmother, Offa Ednah, aged 53, of Masaiti.
He said Ms Ednah reported that her granddaughters drowned in Kafulafuta River.
Mr Mweemba said the victims have been identified as 14-year-old Grace Namonje, a grade six pupil, and 12-year-old Bathsheba Musaka, also in grade six at Koti ni Eden in the Shilashi area of Masaiti.
He said the two pupils left school around 14:00 hours, after which Bathsheba visited her friend’s house in Kampundu Village before deciding to accompany Grace, who lived in Saili Village.
Mr Mweemba said while on their way, the two girls opted to cross through a small path used as a road crossing over the dam.
“As they were going they decided to use a small path used as a road crossing through the dam and as they were crossing the dam they drowned after they failed to cross,” he said.
Mr Mweemba said members of the community rushed to retrieve their bodies and found that both were already dead.
He said when police visited the scene, they found that both deceased bodies had already been retrieved from the dam.
“The bodies were inspected and no physical injuries found on them. The bodies had some foam coming from their nose and mouth,” he said.
Mr Mweemba said the two bodies have since been deposited to St. Theresa’s Mission Hospital Mortuary.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 28th February, 2024)
Chitambo DC dies in a road traffic accident
CHITAMBO District Commissioner, Evans Chola has today died in a Road Traffic Accident.
The accident is believed to have happened when the vehicle Mr Chola was using slipped off the road in a curve and overturned.
Two others, the driver and a passenger have escaped with minor injuries.
Central Province Permanent Secretary Milner Mwanakampwe who has confirmed the sad incident said it occurred around 05:50 hours at Chilata area of Mkushi district.
He said Mr Chola who was on the way to Kabwe was accompanied by two other people who included the driver and a messenger.
“It is with great sadness that I wish to confirm the death of our District Commissioner for Chitambo in Central Province Mr Evans Chola who was involved in a Road Traffic Accident in the early hours of today, Tuesday, February 27, 2024. The accident happened around Chalata area of Mkushi District at about 05:50 hours, when the vehicle he was using Registration Number GRZ 825CR slipped off the road in a curve and over turned,” he said.
Mr Mwanakampwe said at the time of the accident, his condition was said to be critical as he was unconscious and laboured to breathe.
“Immediately, they were all taken to Mkushi District Hospital for further management , Mr Chola was later pronounced dead. As a Province, we have lost a man whose passion for service to humanity was excellent and will forever be remembered,” he said.
Mr Mwanakampwe has appealed to the family, the people of Chitambo and Central Province as a whole to mourn the gallant son of the soil with dignity and honour as the record of his works demand.
“The President of the Republic of Zambia His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema is equally saddened by this loss and mourns with the people of Chitambo and Central Province as a whole.My office will endeavor to upto the nation on any developments surrounding the death and burial of our beloved late District Commissioner Mr Chola,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 27th February, 2024)