RESPONDING to premature social media confirmation of former Zambia Air Force commander Ronnie Shikapwasha’s death, the deceased’s family has expressed concern how some people rushed to publish unverified information about their loved one’s health status.
Yesterday late noon, social media was awash with postings confirming the death of Lieutent General (Rtd) Shikapwasha after it was reported that he had shot himself while other publications claimed that he was shot by his wife.
This prompted Government to later issue a statement in the evening refuting the death speculation while indicating that the former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services was receiving medical attention at Maina Soko Military Hospital’s intensive care unit.
But after 21:00hours, it was established that the 76-year-old Lt Gen had passed on after succumbing to injuries.
Reacting to misinformation over the former diplomat’s death, family spokesperson Maureen Mwanawasa told journalists there is need for people to report verified information especially about death, which is solemn.
The former first lady also stressed the need to factor in culture and decorum when publishing matters relating to death, especially of a person of Lt Gen’s status.
“On issues of when someone dies and how you transmit information, I think it is important to go back to our roots.
“Death is such an honourable event and very solemn, therefore, you cannot get excited and go to social media with unconfirmed information. So, as counties progress, as modernity sets in, we should not forget where we come from because that is what grounds us as Africans, how does Ubuntu respond to a solemn situation,” Ms Mwanawasa said after being asked how the family had been copying over the initial misinformation over Lt Gen’s death.
“People are emotionally broken…for example, in honourable Shikapwasha’s situation, he was not an ordinary citizen, he is [was] a senior citizen, having served in different portfolios in government. Therefore, the way you transmit his dying or his sickness must be orderly, respect him, respect the family, respect your own country, otherwise, we all look disorganized,” she added.
Ms Mwanawasa said those who misinformed the public should have contacted family members to get authentic information.
“When you communicate, you must be referring to who confirmed [the data]. But we understand, a funeral is a difficult space, it will not all be what you want, there will be some people, out of impatience, they will communicate something else, social media can kill you before you die,” she said.
Ms Mwanawasa emphasised that the government statement rebutting social media assertions that Lt Gen Shikapwasha had died was the correct depiction of what had happened at that time.
“It’s unfortunate that within a few hours of reporting that his alive, the condition went down and we had to come back and say he has left us,”.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 16th January, 2024)
Zindaba Soko boss detained for disobeying court
FORMER Road Transport and Safety Agency chief executive officer Zindaba Soko has been detained for contempt of court after he travelled to Dubai for a job interview and missed a court session.
He missed a court session in a matter he and two others are accused of forging a passport and National Registration Card (NRC) bearing a dead person’s name.
About two weeks ago, Soko asked for permission to travel abroad but was advertised to attend court before leaving but the instruction was not obeyed.
Consequently, Lusaka magistrate Irene Wishimanga issued a bench warrant against Soko .
When the case resumed yesterday, Soko was brought to court under warrant and when asked why he missed court, he told the court that his lawyers misled him.
Soko told court that his lawyers told him that they would file a notice in court indicating his absentia when he travelled abroad.
This is in a case Soko, 45, a transport consultant of Old Lilayi Road, is jointly charged with Ibrahim Mbongo, 24, a student of Libala South, Kelvin Kisambara, a businessman, both of Tokyo Way.
They are charged with forgery, uttering false documents, being found in possession of property believed to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
Allegations are that between January 1 and 17 this year, with intent to defraud, the accused allegedly forged NRC255428/10/1 in the names John Tembo, who was reportedly dead, according the police.
The trio is further purported to show that the NRC was genuinely issued by the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship, when infact not.
It is further alleged that Kisambara later fraudulently uttered the purportedly forged NRC to a banker at FNB bank in Chilenje.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)
DJ in court after inserting manhood in four girls’ mouths
A 25-YEAR-OLD DISC Jockey (DJ) of Kanyama Township, Lusaka, has pleaded not guilty to the offence of unnatural offences after he allegedly sexually abused four girls by inserting his manhood in the mouth of four girls whom he invited to his house.
The victims are all under the age of 16.
The suspect, Kelvin Mutale, 25, has been charged with four counts of unnatural offences, an offence contrary to section 155(a) of the Penal Code.
It is alleged that on December 24, 2023, Mutale had carnal knowledge of four girls against the order of nature.
When he appeared in court yesterday, Mutale pleaded not guilty to all the four counts before Lusaka magistrate Crispin Hampungani for plea.
The accused then applied for bail pending trial, to which the State did not object.
Magistrate Hampungani granted Mutale bail in the sum of K20,000 and the money has to be paid in cash for the accused to be released on bond.
The court also asked the accused to bring two sureties.
The case has been adjourned to March 19 for trial.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)
State to grab Charity Katanga’s buses
THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Gilbert Phiri has applied to have the 10 Higer buses worth K26million belonging to imprisoned former Deputy Inspector General of Police Charity Katanga forfeited to the State.
Further, the DPP wants forfeiture of K1.5million which is in the account for Chibeka Express Limited, the company which was operating the 10 Higer buses deemed to be proceeds of crime.
In a notice of motion filed by the DPP before the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court, the DPP says the properties should be seized because they are tainted.
The lawsuit comes after the Magistrate’s Court jailed Ms Katanga, Monday, after being found guilty of possession of the 10 buses deemed to be proceeds of crime, is the interested party.
In the DPPs documents, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC),
chief investigations officer Ewdin Mwanza submits that Ms Katanga Monday, February, 19, Ms Katanga was tried and convicted of the offence of possession of suspected proceeds of crime.
Mr Mwanza submits that court record will show that the former senior police officer’s conviction is based on her being found in possession of 10 higer buses whose registration numbers are; BAF 5118 ZM, BAF 5119 ZM, BAG 8558 ZM, BAG 8559 ZM, BAG 8733 ZM, BAJ 2476 ZM, BAJ 2590 ZM, BAJ 2919 ZM, BAV 2931, BAL 9126 ZM, all worth K26,282,770.
Mr Mwanza submits that the record will show that I also seized K1,55,005.15 in Chibeka Express Limited account number 9130000699156 Stanbic bank Ndola main branch which received these funds from the operations of the 10 higer buses found by this honourable court to be proceeds of crime.
He adds that the matter is a proper one in which the court can order that the buses and money in the account be forfeited to the State for being proceeds of crime.
The State prays that this court orders that the properties be forfeited to the State and paid into the government’s consolidated fund held at Central Bank.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 22nd February, 2024