Assistant Police Spokesperson Nephas Chifuta says no officer will be suspended over Sergeant Nchimunya Choongwe’s death because they are innocent.
Reacting to demands by members of the public that police should suspend officers who were on duty when the 34-year-old ZAF officer died in police custody at Woodlands police on Saturday, to pave way for investigations, Chifuta insisted that the officers were innocent.
“There is nothing like suspending police officers at Woodlands police because the complaint on the death of the Zambia Air Force Officer who died in custody is not against our officers,” Chifuta said.
“How do you suspend people as if you have already arrested and charged them and they have been convicted by the court of Law?”
He said the complaint was against the inmates who were in custody on the material day.
“If you remember the joint statement from two honorable ministers, Home Affairs and Defense, they actually put it in black and white that investigations for the deceased Zambia Air Force Officer are being undertaken by a very high profile joint team of investigators and they indicated that once the results have been established, they are going to communicate to the family and to the members of the public. So the aspect of us rushing into suspending the officers, that I don’t think it should arise because after all, the complaint is not against the officers. The complaint or the matter itself is against the suspects who were in custody,” said Chifuta.
“So the issue of suspending them I don’t think that one is factual because it’s far from reality on the ground. Why should they be suspended? That is the question, are they the ones that are reported to have beaten the ZAF soldier to death? The answer is no. The people that have been mentioned in this spotlight are the inmates, so why should we suspend the innocent officers? And the best of it all is that we just need to wait for the results of the investigations. The minister put it clear that there is no stone that will be left on top of the other, so there is no one who will be shielded in this matter.”