Mazabuka, July 11, ZANIS…………Mazabuka District Commissioner Eugene Munyama yesterday summoned Mazabuka police station officer in -Charge Luo N’goma to explain circumstances that led to the severe burning of a suspect who was remanded in police custody by fellow inmates at the station.
Mr. Munyama demanded an explanation from Mr. N’goma on why police officers at the station failed to come to the rescue of Bright Monde, a suspect who was arrested by a combined team of state and council police officers after he was found drinking a locally brewed beer commonly known as Kachasu in Nakambala compound.
While in detention, his fellow suspects in the male cell, resorted to burning, his hands, mouth and chest with a candle after he allegedly failed to give the two cell “captain” a K5 which they demanded from him so that they could buy cigarettes.
A medical report obtained from Mazabuka District Hospital indicated that Monde 26, a resident of Apollo compound in Mazabuka suffered severe swollen hands, mouth and chest resulting from the burns that the inmates inflicted on him on Sunday night.
Following the incident, the visibly annoyed mother of the victim, Esther stormed the DC’s office on Wednesday to register her displeasure over what she termed police’s negligence, and their failure to protect her son whom she said was unlawfully detained at the police station from Friday and only released on Monday.
However, Mr. Munyama said while he understood the challenges that the police service was facing, there is need for them to operate professionally and maintain sanity at the station saying the agenda of government is to dignify each and every Zambian regardless of one’s affiliation or status in society.
Mr. Munyama, who described the burning incidence as regrettable, said he decided to engage the senior command at the station in an effort to try and find a lasting solution to such kind of torture as evidenced in Monde’s case.
He said it was unfortunate that police officers at the station are allegedly failing to take full control of inmates in custody that have resorted to torturing their colleagues thereby violating their human rights.
Bright Monde together with eighty of his friends were arrested by a combined team that was carrying out an operation in Nakambala Compound after they were found drinking the illicit beer and remanded in custody from Friday until Monday when they were released after paying an admission of guilt charge.
When contacted, Southern Province Police Commissioner Charity Katanga said she was not aware of the incidence and promised to get to the root cause of whatever could have transpired at the station.
Mazabuka police station officer Commanding Lizzie Machina could neither confirm nor deny the incidence saying she was out in Lusaka and referred all queries to Ms. Katanga.