HOME AFFAIRS Minister Stephen Kampyongo says the person who shot prosecutor Nsama Nsama and UPND supporter Joseph Kaunda has been identified, but withholds any further information.
And Kamyongo says police officers are human beings are prone to make mistakes but it is cheap politicking that too many people have died under PF’s watch.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo says there’s nothing wrong with police officers investigating themselves.
In a ministerial statement, Thursday, Kampyongo said UPND cadres ignored Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja’s warning against turning up to offer solidarity to their leader.
“…on the material date, the UPND leader was escorted by a group of UPND sympathisers who used about thirty two (32) buses. I must emphasize that the UPND leader was summoned in his personal capacity, and the allegations were personal in nature, without any causal link to his political party. The convoy of vehicles carrying sympathisers were obstructing the smooth flow of traffic along the Ring Road. This prompted police officers to move in and intercept the convoy at the junction of the ring road— mosi—o—tunya traffic lights. The passengers were advised to avoid moving in the long convoy as this disrupted the smooth flow of traffic and also endangered the lives of other innocent members of the public. However, the convoy diverted into other alternative by-pass routes in order to elude other police snap checkpoints which were mounted along the way. After realising that there was adequate police presence, the upnd sympathisers disembarked from the vehicles with a view to escorting their leader to police service headquarters on foot along independence avenue. Alert officers stopped and advised them to disperse. Only a few vehicles were allowed to proceed,” he said.
“Nonetheless, this advice infuriated the said UPND sympathisers who became unruly and began throwing objects at police officers with the view to forcing their way into the police service headquarters surroundings. It was at this point that police responded by discharging tear smoke canisters at the UPND sympathisers. Despite the resistance, police managed to disperse the unruly UPND sympathisers resulting in the security situation being brought under control and calm being restored. About 30 minutes later, information was received that two bodies had been spotted lying down between old cabinet office building and National Prosecutions Office building. Police quickly rushed to the scene of crime where they found two bodies lying on the ground. One body, later identified as that of Nsama Nsama Chipyoka aged 44 years, a state prosecutor was found lying at the entrance of Lafe restaurant, while the other body, identified as that of Joseph Kaunda aged 26 years from Kafue district, was found lying along access road into the Ministry of Works and Supply.”
He said the investigations were concluded and the suspect had been identified.
“Following the unfortunate incident which resulted into the death of two citizens, investigations were instituted which included; summoning and interviewing commanders and officers who were on the ground on the material day, identifying witnesses who could have seen what transpired, crime scene visitation, and subjecting firearms used during the operation to ballistic examinations, as well as subjecting the two deceased persons to a post— mortem which established that the two deceased persons died of fatal bullet wounds. The House may wish to note that the team tasked to investigate this matter has already concluded its investigations and the suspect who is alleged to have fired the gunshot that led to the death of Mr Nsama Nsama Chipyoka and Mr Joseph Kaunda has since been identified and the report has been forwarded to the
President of the Republic of Zambia Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu who has studied the report and handed it over to the director of public prosecutions for further action. At the same time, the Zambia police service has also forwarded the docket of case to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” he said.
“Further, police managed to arrest twenty one (21) suspects who were detained in police custody and later charged for the offence of conduct likely to cause the breach of peace. They were released after paying the admission of guilt fine. Furthermore, three buses were impounded on suspicion that they were used to ferry UPND sympathisers. On this score, I wish to strongly discourage the practice of moving with crowds when one is summoned before law enforcement agencies, a trend which has proved to be a recipe for lawlessness and chaos.”
Kampyogo warned the police officers against lawlessness.
“May I take this opportunity to warn perpetrators of lawlessness that the Zambia Police Service will deal sternly with them and will not allow criminals to dare the institution with impunity. I wish to remind all the citizens of the Republic of Zambia to respect democratic processes and the rule of law. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests. To the police officers, I wish to warn you that no one is above the law. Government will not shield you from justice when you choose to take the law into your hands. You will face the consequences individually. The long arm of the law will visit you regardless of your position or status in the service. As officers you are expected to follow laid down procedures at all times when discharging your duties. Further, you are required to exhibit high levels of professionalism and discipline when dealing with members of the public,” said Kampyongo.
And responding to a question asked by Livingstone member of parliament Mathews Jere, who wanted to know why police were allowed to carry live bullets, Kampyongo said officers were prone to error.
“The tension between members of the public and the police everywhere else has always been there but it is important in how you deal with these challenges which matters most because certainly the public, the police have to also be given a space in which to express their rights, the freedom of movement and all that but there are also wrong doers who must be dealt with in society. So the conflict between public and police are managed through the measures put in place. Police are human beings like anyone else despite their professions. Behind those uniforms they are human beings who are also prone to error, prone to make mistakes and those mistakes must be provided for. But to try and insinuate that under the PF government people have died that is cheap politicking. By and large the role of police is to protect the life, citizens and their property,” Kampyongo said.
“If there was no that movement of people, from different areas I don’t think that shooting would have taken place. I was aware of the potential dangers personally after the IG did advise I also joined him because we were aware of what was happening on the other side. So those two cannot be described as criminals because as the police are investigating, they will go beyond to ascertain why people were ferried from different corners. Going forward we are not going to tolerate daring state institutions with that kind of impunity.”
Zambezi east UPND member of parliament Brian Kambita asked whether the suspects that were arrested were policemen but Kampyongo said he could not reveal such information.
“Madam Speaker, I have indicated that the investigations have been concluded and the report was submitted to His Excellency the President who later forwarded the same report to the Director of Public Prosecutions and at the same time, the Zambia Police had also forwarded a docket. And as I speak, the DPP is studying both and then we will decide what the next course of action will be. At that point, the honorable will know who the suspect is and what course of action will be after the DPP has made a decision. As it is, this is how far I can go,” Kampyongo said.
Meanwhile, Kalomo Central Member of Parliament Harry Kamboni asked how the same people who killed the two citizens could investigate themselves.
In response, Kampyongo said there was nothing irregular about that as similar situations happened at the National Assembly.
“As to whether the investigations by the police who could have been suspected, I can cite an example of this institution here. There are certain transgressions that honorable members do, we investigate ourselves. And those who are found wanting are found wanting. So it is the same thing. The fact that the institution is not going to shield wrong things. Some of the people I was talking about in incarceration have been investigated by their fellow officers,” he said.
And when asked by Sioma member of parliament Mbololwa Subulwa if the cadres were armed, Kampyongo said it was premature for him to agree.
“Those were gathering were doing that against the law, and that is some of them were charged for gathering unlawfully. Some of the cadres were throwing different objects at the police on the other side of the police headquarters. It will be premature for me to say they were armed with firearms. I want to state that for the first time we had threats on the office of her honour the Vice-President because that’s where that crowd was heading towards and that could be similar to what happened in Washington DC where the highest institution was under bombardment. So we had the office of the Vice-President under threat. It will be premature for me to ascertain if they were armed in terms of firearms but there were few objects that were not in the form of arms that were thrown at the police that reacted them to discharge some tearsmokes,” said Kampyongo.