2 deaths in Solwezi robbery


THE normally serene town of Solwezi turned bloody yesterday with a bizarre incident of poetic justice that saw a suspected burglar get gunned down by a home owner after a challenge.
An accomplice in the attempted robbery was also shot dead by the police in a rapid response to a call for help.
The facts of the matter, according to police, are that three armed thugs broke into the house of a Mr Peter Zaloumis in the up market Highland area in Solwezi with the intention of robbing Mr Zaloumis and his family before the tables turned.
Paul Achiume, the provincial deputy commissioner of police, said, “three robbers wearing masks broke into a house belonging to Mr Peter Zaloumis in Highland area and they used a big pole to gain entry. They woke up the sister of Mr Zaloumis and demanded money.”
But instead of succumbing to the robbers’ threats, Mr Zaloumis challenged them and shot dead one of them at point blank range while another was gunned down by the police. The third one is on the run with bleeding wounds.
Mr Achiume told journalists that the dead suspects are believed to be part of a gang which has been masquerading as street vendors during the day and turn into ‘terrorists’ at night.
Mr Achiume said the suspects were shot dead between 02:00 hours and 03:00 hours yesterday.
They have been identified as Kima Kasongo, a Congolese national, and his Zambian accomplice Albert Mukamba, 34.
Kasongo entered Zambia on October 26, 2013 and he was expected to leave the country on November 2, 2013 said Mr Achiume.
“One of them was armed with an AK 47 rifle and a knife and the other had a sharp object while the third one was not armed,” Mr Achiume said.
Mr Achiume described as unfortunate the fact that “Mr Zaloumis sustained two bullet wounds before his sister called the police”.
Police recovered an AK47 rifle with 28 rounds of ammunition while Mr Zaloumis is admitted to Solwezi General Hospital in a critical condition.
The bodies of the suspects are in the Solwezi General Hospital mortuary awaiting burial.
Hundreds of Solwezi residents thronged the hospital to catch a glimpse of the slain criminals.
Mr Achiume said investigations have continued to establish the owner of the firearm with a serial number 1361665 while three cell phones were recovered from the criminals.
He advised residents to be cautious when strange people purporting to be vendors visit their homes selling goods.
Meanwhile, three people who include two members of the same family are nursing serious injuries in Solwezi General Hospital after they were attacked by bandits in the early hours of Wednesday.
Mr Achiume said in an interview that three bandits attacked a family near Vision Community School around 03:00 hours.
He named those injured as Sitali Nyambe, a landlord, and his two tenants, Paul Shimulopwe and Florence Shimulopwe.
Mr Achiume said Mr Nyambe was shot on the left side of the back, Mr Shimulopwe was shot on the left arm while Ms Shimulopwe was injured on the left arm.