a Daily Mail by Online Editor on 6/14/13
ELINA Ngandu one of the residents who’s house was allegedly raided by Zambia National Service officers in Lusaka’s Kampasa area. INSET: Police remove the body of a victim of yesterday’s shooting in Lusaka’s Kampasa area. – Picture by ANGELA MWENDA.
… 2 shot dead by ZNS officers, one injured
By CLAVER MUTINTA
ZAMBIA National Service (ZNS) officers yesterday shot dead two people living illegally on what is officially ZNS land while another man was injured.
The incident happened when officers carried out an order to demolish houses built on land belonging to the defence wing without permission.
The wounded man is admitted to Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital while the incident occurred in Kampasa near Meanwood Ndeke Housing Development project near the Kenneth Kaunda International airport in Lusaka.
ZNS public relations officer Marble Mulenga-Nyone and Lusaka Province police commissioner Joyce Kasosa confirmed the shooting but could not give further details.
ZNS officers stormed the settlement on a 50-acre piece of land at the crack of dawn around 05:00 hours yesterday and ordered the settlers to vacate the houses built on ZNS land.
The settlers have been insisting that the land belongs to them and not ZNS. Some say they have lived there for more than 25 years.
The victims, who have been identified as Clement Muloongo and Pumulo Lungwangwa, were hit with short batons before they were shot at close range, according to reports.
According to eyewitnesses, one of the men raised his hands and begged the officers armed with AK 47 rifles to spare his life but they ignored him and opened fire on him.
The second victim was shot when he tried to rescue his father, who was in the house which was being demolished, while the survivor was shot in the buttocks as he hung around after being evicted from his house.
A Daily Mail team that rushed to the area shortly after the shooting incident found two bodies of men lying in pools of blood. One was shot in the head and the other in the chest.
Grief-stricken locals were found weeping over the bodies.
Lungwangwa’s wife, Harriet Shabantu, said her husband was not confrontational when the officers ordered them to vacate the house.
“I just told my husband that we should secure our documents and National Registration Cards and leave the house to be demolished.
We went to the roadside but they followed us….we moved somewhere else and they still followed us and started beating us up. They started shooting and that is how my husband was shot,” she said.
Major Nyone referred all queries to the Ministry of Defence but efforts to get a comment from Minister of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba failed as his mobile phone was not reachable by press time.
But a ZNS officer only identified as P M Solochi, who was sent to gather facts about the incident in Kampasa, defended the officers saying they shot at the people in self-defence.
He alleged that the settlers were not co-operative and some even threw stones at the officers.
Many houses, including a Church of God centre and Patriotic Front (PF) office, were damaged during the operation by ZNS officers, who also allegedly threatened to burn the settlers’ maize.
A 54-year-old widow, Elina Ng’andu, who burst into tears, said she had nowhere to go after her house was demolished.
Ms Ng’andu and other settlers were found picking up their belongings to camp by the roadside.
Some local people said they were surprised that ZNS officers demolished and damaged their houses despite assurances from “some authorities” that their houses would not be touched.