POLICE on Wednesday officially arrested and charged fellow officers and some PF officials, including the ruling party’s North Western Province chairperson Jackson Kungo, in connection with the theft of gold in Mwinilunga valued at over K24.7 million.
According to police sources in Mwinilunga, the five police officers and nine PF officials are expected to appear in the Mwinilunga Magistrates’ Court on May 22, 2020.
The theft of gold ore is alleged to have occurred between March 19th and March 21st 2020.
According to the sources, Assistant Commissioner of Police James Banda, was arrested for the offences of disobedience to lawful orders contrary to Sec 127 CAP 87.
“Banda, Sydney Musefwe, Martin Choonga, Chief Inspector Silver Kansongi and D/inspector Micheal Chizyabwa Nzala have been jointly arrested for the offences of destroying evidence and theft by public servant contrary to section 111, 272 CAP 87 respectively while Jackson Kungo, Christopher Mutalenu, Humphrey Katoka, Kenneth Kawatu, William Juma Zulu, Timothy Mulusa, Majory Sikwenya, Charity Kaswenda and Catherine Mukuma have all been jointly arrested for the offence of theft contrary to sec 272 CAP 87.
By press time, the suspects were asked to organise two traceable sureties to sign police bonds for them.
Investigations into the scam were instituted after President Edgar Lungu fired North-Western Province police commissioner Hudson Namachila saying the command in that area had failed to secure gold reserves.
Almost immediately, PF Secretary General Davies Mwila suspended Kungo, “pending investigations in his alleged involvement in illegal gold mining activities in the province”.
The PF secretariat also sent a team of their officials to carry out their own investigations led by Brian Mundubile.
Members of the public, however, have raised eyebrows at the move by the ruling party, wondering why the investigation was not left to the Anti Corruption Commission.
Other sources have told News Diggers that some other senior government officials, at ministerial level, have been implicated in the theft, but were being covered up.
“That is why you see that while all these officers have been arrested, including Banda who was in charge of criminals investigations in North Western Province, have been arrested, but the provincial Commissioner Hudson Namachila has not been touched. You should ask those in Lusaka at the Headquarters to tell the kind of investigation they carried and how it left out those who were in charge of operations,” said the sources.