–Chief Shimbizhi of the Ila people of Itezhi Tezhi district in Central province says that Mr David Diangamo’s assertions that traditional leaders and police are conniving to steal his animals are untrue and baseless.
Chief Musungwa said that the assertions by Mr Diangamo are tantamount to insulting the traditional leadership and government in the district.
The chief was speaking when Gender Minister Inonge Wina paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Basanga before she held a rally at Basanga Basic School in Itezhi Tezhi district yesterday.
“It is disturbing that we read in the daily nation about a letter authored by Mr Diangamo where he was insinuating that the police in the district and some traditional leaders are conniving to steal his cattle, we all at one time had our cattle stolen and it is unfair for him to say such things,” Chief Musungwa said.
He said that cattle rustling in Itezhi Tezhi district have been there from time immemorial and police have been arresting and prosecuting some of the offenders.
He said that people know that he is bitter with Itezhi Tezhi police because they impounded his light truck because it is suspected to be a proceed of crime.
We are equally concerned about cattle rustling is very prevalent in the district but the situation should not be politicized.
The chief said that it was common knowledge that police in the district were working under very difficult conditions given the vastness of the district and the terrain.
“You have seen for yourself minister the bad roads here. You had to go round covering a longer distance than normal. If it were in the dry season the straight route from here to the town is only 12 kilometers away.
“We are literary surrounded by water due to the flooded Kafue flats and this is time when crime is high in this area because thieves know that the area is surrounded by flood plains and will only be accessible in May meaning all these months, they can steal and can only be arrested in May if they are caught.
And Itezhi Tezhi police officer in charge Paul Samamba told Chief Musungwa that it could be true that Mr Diangamo could be a bitter man because they impounded one of his trucks and it is at Taskforce in Lusaka awaiting court processes.
With regard to his cattle that were allegedly stolen, Mr Samamba said that case could not proceed in court because Mr Diangamo did not want his son who is the key suspect in the case to be prosecuted.
“That case went to court but Mr Diangamo didn’t want his son to be prosecuted but instructed us to prosecute only the other suspects but in Law we cannot do that and that is how the case was abandoned,” Samamba said.