Gunman strikes…as ZAWA officer is shot dead, American robbed

Central Province Police chief, Standwell Lungu
Central Province Police chief, Standwell Lungu
FEAR has gripped the normally serene district of Serenje where a lone gunman is on rampage and has shot dead a Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officer.

The gunman, who broke into five rooms at two lodges, got away with K3,059 cash and a camera from an American Peace Corp volunteer before he stormed a pastor’s room where he hauled K2, 000 cash.

The daring raid in which the 44-year-old ZAWA officer was slain and the American, Barbara Smith, 44, was robbed of her money, took place in the early hours of Saturday.

The man armed with a shotgun first held a security guard hostage around 01:00 hours before he killed the officer who had resisted a search on him.

Central Province Police chief, Standwell Lungu and Central Province Permanent Secretary, Edwidge Mutale confirmed the incident separately yesterday.

They both called for calm among Serenje residents as Police reinforcements had been dispatched to hunt down the assailant.

Mr Lungu identified the deceased officer as Webby Chitambala based in Chilanga.

The theft targeting lodges comes less than three weeks after three other people lost their valuables and money in a similar manner in the neighbouring Mkushi District.

Mr Lungu explained that in the Serenje incident, the gunman held the security guard at gunpoint and used him to knock on the doors of the unsuspecting clients.

The first victim was the pastor from whom the attacker managed to seize more than K2, 000 and warned him against raising alarm.

He then went to the room occupied by two ZAWA officers and attempted to search Mr Chitambala who was alone at the time as his colleague had visited the wash room.

According to some eyewitnesses at the lodge, the assailant warned the other officer against coming out of the wash room before he shot Mr Chitambala and fled.

The attacker had also broken into the lodge manager’s office where he got away with a cash box containing an undisclosed amount of money, but it was recovered in a nearby bush.

Mr Lungu said investigations into the matter had been launched.

Ms Mutale regretted the incident and called for calm among the residents.

She said it was sad that criminals were killing innocent people, especially in lodges.

A Lusaka-based road contractor was recently robbed of K30, 000 and more money in foreign currency by a lone gunman who had forced himself into his room.

No arrests or recoveries have been made and investigations have continued.

Times of Zambia


  1. i know the Zambian Man he was my Dad’s friend known him all my life its really sad what happened

  2. its rily sad..i wonder were the security guard was at the time of the incident…i hope they catch the culprits
    May his soul rest in peace..i know mr Chitambala..he was a good man

  3. Honestly how will a strike help, wont bring back the shot victim 2.its created a loop hole for poaching 3.what are they going to get out of striking

  4. These are the areas where our police service should mostly put their efforts, and not harassing tax and minibus drivers.