There was no death in Luanshya riots – Mbaulu

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Luanshya District Commissioner Harold Mbaulu has  dismissed as false, allegations that a two months old baby yesterday died during the protest in Luanshya’s Mikomfwa area.


This follows reports that a baby died in  ensuing riots following the shooting to  death of a Zambian truck driver Patrick Mwila by a Congolese soldier in that country.

And Police have arrested 47 rioters and recorded 5 injuries from the protests.

Mr. Mbaulu said the district has not recorded any deaths related to the protest saying both police and the three major hospitals in the district had not recorded any deaths related to the protest.

The district commissioner said in an interview in Luanshya today that following his visits at Luanshya Central police station and Roan Antelope, Thomson and Luanshya mine hospitals to ascertain the claims he has proved beyond reasonable doubt that reports of death were false.

“I would like to dismiss such claims as I have physically visited all the hospitals and there is no such evidence as stated in the daily publication.


“  The paper does not also provide conclusive information of both the residential address and the names of the victims parents, therefore proving that the information is a mare speculation” Mbaulu said.


While at the Roan general hospital, the DC took time to visit one of the police officers Constable Wamunyima Mufaya who was injured during the protest and sustained a fracture with deep cuts on his left hand.


Mr. Mbaulu has urged the media to observe professionalism and remain objective in carrying out of their mandate so as to inform and not incite the public.


He described the death allegations as grossly unfair on the police and the residents of Mikomfwa who could fall prey to yet another protest as a result of misinterpreted fact.


Mr. Mbaulu however was glad to mention that calm had returned to Luanshya following the fracas that hit the district yesterday.


He described the protest as an unfortunate incident that was being spearheaded by selfish motivated individuals who wanted to take advantage of the situation.


Mr. Mbaulu further stated that police were still investigating and will soon come up the total cost of good and property which was destroyed and looted during yesterday’s fracas.


And Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer Joyce Kasosa says Police in Luanshya have arrested 47 people in relation to the same incident.


Ms Kasosa said the 47 who were arrested were being held at Luanshya central police and will be charged appropriately as they will face the law individually.


She also disclosed that five police officers were injured in the course of the protest and that no members of the public were injured as the police were applying minimum force.


Ms Kasosa further appealed to members of the public to refrain from taking the law into their own hands but let the relevant authority enforce the law.


She said the Zambian government has engaged its Congolese counterparts in the matter.


And Thomson Hospital Administrative officer Ruth Chitalu said the hospital recorded five injuries from the incident and that four were attended to and discharged .


The hospital  sources said one person who sustained a serious hand injury was referred to Roan General hospital.


Ms Chitalu however said no person was brought in dead and that no person died while at the hospital as a result of yesterday’s protests.


Both Roan and Luanshya mine hospitals denied having recorded any cases related to the protests apart from one case that was referred to Roan General hospital from Thomson hospital.

Yesterday, Luanshya residents ran amok destroying suspected Congolese owned shops in protest of the continued killing of foreign truck drivers by Congolese soldiers in that country in which the latest incident involved a Zambian national Patrick Mwila, 30  of Mikomfwa township in Luanshya.


Good worth thousands of kwacha were destroyed while some were looted during the protest which started around 13:00 hours yesterday and lasted over 10 hours.


The riot which overwhelmed the local police was only quenched after police reinforced officers from Kanfinsa, Ndola and Kitwe.