It is premature to blame police for Vespers Shimunzila’s death, says Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo.
And Kampyongo has announced that police and other law enforcement agencies are conducting investigations into what transpired prior, during and after the UNZA riots on October 5, 2018.
“The investigations which are currently being conducted by the Zambia Police and other investigative wings will cover what transpired for the period prior to the riot, during and after the riot at the higher learning institution. And further to the investigations, there will be an inquest which will be constituted where other people who might have other pieces of information concerning the same will be allowed to provide the information to the team that would undertake the inquest. The result of the inquest will be supplemented by the postmortem report for the deceased’s student and once this information is put together, the nation shall then be informed accordingly. The Ministry shall ensure that investigations are carried out professionally and that those who will be found wanting will be dealt with according to the law,” Kampyongo said before asking Shimunzila’s family and students to stay calm as they wait for the report.
“We are monitoring the situation and we have police and other investigative wings have already received some pieces of information which will help them as they get into the investigations…As to the blames that are being apportioned on Zambia Police, it is premature now to apportion the blame on the Zambia Police. You must be aware that what prompted the Zambia Police to get to the learning institution was to go and restore order. They were called upon to go and restore order when the riot had already broken out. And can you imagine if the police did not move in?”
Meanwhile, Kampyongo has warned that should any officers be found wanting for conducting themselves in an irresponsible manner, they will be dealt with within the confines of the law.
“And I want to appeal to those that want to take advantage of this situation to preach lawlessness that they will certainly be dealt with within the confines of the law and that also goes to those that have either taken to social media to issue disparaging remarks that they will equally be pursued because we have only one country and we can’t allow this country to go into flames by people that want to be reckless. We also don’t want to speculate with regards to political influence in these matters but like I have said, all the events prior to the riot, during and after the riot will be probed and at that point, we will then see if there will be other people that could have participated in the riot. If indeed there will be officers that will be caught up and found to have unprofessionally conducted themselves, there are appropriate measures that will be taken and it won’t be the first time but whatever will be taken will be within the provisions of the law and professional code of conduct,” said Kampyongo.