HOME Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has confirmed that one police officer at Lusaka Central was severely beaten up and robbed of two cell phones and cash amounting to K4, 000 after PF Youth Chairman for Eastern Province Emmanuel Banda, popularly known as Jay Jay, attacked the station two weeks ago.
And Kampyongo says police have so far arrested four suspects in connection with the incident, while the main suspect, who he did not name, is still on the run.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka, Friday, Kampyongo said the robbery which happened at Lusaka Central Police was triggered by the shooting to death of his relative who had been involved in car theft.
“The incident that occurred at Lusaka Central Police Station was triggered by a report of a stolen motor vehicle. Facts of the matter are that on 28th June 2020, it was reported at Mtendere police post that a motor vehicle Toyota Hiace mini-bus registration number BAC 1005 was stolen. A docket of the case was opened and transferred to the ant-motor vehicle theft team at Lusaka Division police headquarters for investigations. Investigations were immediately instituted and on 1st July 2020, the motor vehicle was spotted in Misisi Compound. Police made a follow-up and found the motor vehicle being dismantled at a scrapyard. The suspects who were found at the scene ran away. However, police officers managed to apprehend one of the suspects and recovered some dismantled pieces of the motor vehicle which were later positively identified by the owner,” Kampyongo said.
Kampyongo narrated that officers from the ant-motor vehicle theft unit pursued the matter further, leading to the shooting of two suspects who tried to escape.
“On Thursday, 2nd July 2020, the suspect led the police to the scrapyard in Misisi Compound where other accomplices were found stripping the stolen motor vehicle. Upon seeing the police, the suspects started running away prompting police officers to fire warning shots in a bid to stop them. In the process, two suspects were disabled and sustained bullet wounds. The two suspects were immediately rushed to the University Teaching Hospital for treatment where they later died. The post mortem was conducted and the results are being awaited,” he said.
He said after being agitated by the death of his relative who was the victim of the police shooting, a known suspect, whom police sources have told News Diggers is the PF official, mobilised and went to attack and rob the police station.
“On Monday, 6th July 2020, two mini-busses and two other motor vehicles drove into Lusaka Division Headquarters located at Lusaka Central Police Station where occupants started shouting that they wanted to see the person who had killed their relative. A known person who has been identified as a relative to one of the deceased suspects disembarked from one of the vehicles and started shouting and challenging police officers to kill him the way his relative was killed,” Kampyongo said.
“One of the police officers tried to advise the identified person to follow the right procedure in resolving the matter. In the process, it is alleged that the suspect slapped the police officer and ordered the people in the vehicle to come out and beat up the officer. The police officer was severely beaten and sustained several body pains and a swollen ankle. Besides that, the assaulted police officer was robbed of personal belongings, namely, two cell phones and cash amounting to K4,000. The officer was only saved by quick action from fellow police officers. And to restore law and order, police officers had to fire tear gas canisters and the mob scampered in different directions.”
The minister however declined to name the fugitive as the PF official.
“Arising from that, a docket of aggravated robbery case was opened and so far, four suspects have been arrested and charged accordingly. The main suspect is still at large and the police have launched a man-hunt for this suspect. Investigations in this matter have since continued. In all those incidences, there is no part where I have talked about a political party. If indeed one of the suspects is a political party member, that doesn’t stop him from being a suspect. And I just avoided mentioning the names because the investigations are still ongoing and there will be aspects of positive identifications when the suspects are rounded up,” he said.
“So, there is no political activity that took place, it was a criminal activity that took place. And that is what the police are investigating. In short, it doesn’t matter what political jacket or what political affiliation these suspects could be found to be, the focus is the lawlessness. And no one is above the law. No one will be given special treatment for committing a crime, not even this minister seated here is above the law, who is also a member of a political party,” Kampyongo said.
He also warned political cadres that they would not be exempted from punishment if they continue breaking the law.
“To the unruly political cadres, be warned that you are not an exemption to the provisions of the law. Anyone who breaches the provisions of the law will be dealt with accordingly regardless of their standing in society. I will soon be handing over more modern equipment to the Zambia police service because I have heard some concerns from the people when you see the equipment. When we tell you that we are investing to ensure that police are capacitated to maintain order, we are not joking. What you have started seeing from the police is just to show you that enough is enough in terms of talking. It’s now time for police to swing into action,” Kampyongo said.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo turned to condemn Sergeant Jayson Chipepo, who resigned from police citing political interference in the service, saying the officer did not follow laid down procedures for resigning.
“Let me also take this opportunity to condemn the action of one of the undisciplined officers from the Zambia Police Service who opted to resign from the service through social media platforms. Zambia Police Service has well-established procedures to follow at entry into the service as well as the exit of the service, any police officer who wishes to leave the service should follow the outlined procedures as one’s continuity in the service is purely a personal interest and a right. There is no police officer who will be treated with kid gloves if he/she decides to quit without following the laid down procedures,” said Kampyongo.
“I also wish to bring this to the attention of the general public that government is fully aware of a scheme of a known opposition political party under the sponsorship of some foreign agents who are targeting our police officers to resign and then drill them to act in a manner that would discredit the service and the government. The hatched plan is anticipated to include also officers from the defence and other security wings. Furthermore, allow me to commend some police officers who have been professional and have since turned down the offers from these unscrupulous individuals, and decide to continue serving mother Zambia.”