Trade fair holiday claims 21 lives


FIVE people were murdered while 16 others died in road traffic accidents during the Heroes and Unity holiday that ended on Tuesday.
According to police, 198 accidents were recorded in the country while 80 cases of thefts happened in Lusaka and the Copperbelt.Police deputy spokesperson Charity Chanda said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that five cases of murder, 19 break-ins, 11 cases of malicious damage to property, and 10 cases of aggravated robbery were recorded countrywide.
The most common offence committed during the holidays was assault which stood at 143, with Lusaka recording 100 followed by Eastern Province, which had 13.
Ms Chanda attributed the increase in assault cases to alcohol intake and domestic differences.
This year the country recorded an increase in the number of cases compared to last year during the same period when 92 were reported.
Ms Chanda said motor vehicles were not spared as two were stolen from Lusaka and Eastern provinces with isolated cases of stock theft, threatening violence and theft of goods in transit also finding themselves on the list.
A total of 24 people sustained serious injuries in accidents this year compared to 50 recorded last year and that 40 sustained injuries.
Meanwhile, Ms Chanda said 15 Zambian fishermen from Kilwa Island in Nchelenge District have been detained by Congolese security personnel while three others were released in separate incidents.
In Eastern Province, three people died during the long weekend in three separate road accidents.
Eastern Province commissioner of police, Grace Chipalila said in the first accident, Ephraim
Musopwe, an employee of Eastern Water and Sewerage Company, died after being hit by a Mercedes Benz truck on Malawi Road.
Mr Musopwe, 34, who was riding a motorbike on Monday around 21:00 hours met his fate after colliding with the truck and died on the spot.
In the second incident, Silangwa Tembo, 30, of Wachepa Village of Chief Kapatamoyo in Chipata died after being knocked down by a vehicle on Chipata-Lundazi Road.
In Katete, a 49-year-old cyclist of Chiyeka Village in Chief Kawaza’s area died after being hit by a vehicle driven by Malembe Zulu, 39, of house number 152 Chikolya Township.
Ms Chipalila said the driver hit the cyclist identified as Ntinda Tembo.