Copperbelt Province Police Commissioner Charity Katanga has expressed concern that the suspected ritual murderers in Chingola, whom police are hunting down, seem to be changing into cats when confronted.

According to the division police chief, she, together with her fellow officers, witnessed an incident where the mysterious cat disappeared! She said after shooting one of the cats, it started reducing in size, etc.

“We received a call from the public and we rushed there. Then they said, ‘no he has gone inside the ceiling board.’ I was with paramilitary police officers, they entered the ceiling board, (but) they couldn’t see him. After some time, we just saw a cat walking and it disappeared. So, yesterday, when we were checking, we said, ‘now, we are going to kill one cat!’ Tried to fire at one, but the cat started reducing [in size], so sir, we will get there,” Katanga narrated in her report to Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo who toured the province, Saturday.

Now, we know that we are a Christian nation. By default, that means we are expected to believe in supernatural or paranormal activity, miracles and the existence of ghosts, both holy and evil. But the declaration of superstitious activity from law enforcement authorities is serious cause for worry. When the head of the police criminal investigation unit prepares a report for a Cabinet Minister, the media and members of the public, which reveals findings to the effect that criminals turn into cats when confronted by law enforcers, it creates two serious problems.

Firstly, it takes away hope from the terrorised residents. It must have given the Copperbelt people a huge relief to see heavily armed and highly-charged police officers arrive with military patrol vehicles last week. The whole country saw the videos, Chingola residents lined up the streets to welcome police reinforcement in song and cheering. But as the Copperbelt Police Commissioner rightly admitted, the crime rate went even higher despite the intensified patrols, with more people being attacked in their houses. This is worrying enough and equally confusing to the residents.

So, hearing the police chief declare that suspected ritual murderers are turning into cats when confronted is rather paralysing. Madam Katanga went to the extent of saying when police tried to shoot one suspicious cat believed to be a human, it started reducing in size. This is worse than letting people live without any help from the police. This is not providing security, but instilling fear. Humans turning into cats, reducing in size and disappearing? Uuumm? What are people supposed to do now? Kill all cats?

People don’t expect police to believe in superstitious activity. As far as citizens are concerned, police know no miracles, ghosts or evil spirits and they never resolve crimes with paranormal explanations. They work with facts that can be verified. That is why when a detained criminal suspect escapes, the officer on guard cannot claim that the fugitive turned into a rat and vanished! That is unacceptable. It is unprofessional and the police chief must apologize for alarming the terrorised Copperbelt residents.

Secondly, Madam Katanga’s report about the mysterious pussy that reduces in size when confronted also raises deep problems for young police officers, fresh on the job. If their commander says the suspects seem to be turning into cats and disappearing, it leaves them confused and helpless because they were never taught in police college how to deal with such cases. This means the young police officers who should learn from Madam Katanga are now also left in fear.

But there is one thing that Madam Katanga observed, which we totally agree with. The police chief said: “If these people were actual ritual murderers, they would have been killing these people, but it’s like they just want to trouble them. So, what is happening now to police is like zig-zag.”

Police should not even be in zig-zag, we already solved this Chingola criminal case last week. The crime rate has nothing to do with spiritual, moral decay or evil men turning into disappearing pussies. It has everything to do with hunger and joblessness. In our view, most of the problems existing in Chingola and other Copperbelt mining towns are man-made. What we are seeing in Chingola are simply symptoms of a much bigger problem called HUNGER.

Like we said last week, the guns and the military personnel repatriated to Chingola will not fix the hunger and frustration facing the people. It may quell the current unrest, but as long as people’s stomachs are left empty, riots and looting will resume.

When they fail to fix the problem, they will blame the innocent, poor pussy.