Central Province’s notorious “guest house/ lodge” bandit shot dead

Police gun robber
Police gun robber

A GUNMAN who has been terrorising patrons in guest houses and lodges in Central Province was yesterday shot dead after a heavy exchange of gunfire which also left two police officers injured in Mkushi District.
Earlier, the gunman had staged a robbery at a lodge where he held hostage a receptionist and ordered that he be shown the manager’s office where he got away with a cash box containing money.
In December last year, fear gripped Serenje residents when the gunman went on rampage shooting dead a Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officer before breaking into five rooms at two lodges, where he got away with K3,059 cash and a camera from an American Peace Corps volunteer.
He later stormed a pastor’s room where he hauled K2,000 cash.
Central province police chief Standwell Lungu who confirmed the development yesterday said  the  gunman whose identity had not been established  shot and wounded two  police officers after they attempted to apprehend him around 02:hours yesterday.
The incident happened near Katuba area in Mkushi after the gunman armed with a shot gun and a knife, shot and wounded one of the officers in the arm and the other in the neck.
The officers retaliated and shot dead the suspect. One officer identified as Kenny Chiyala is in a critical condition as the bullet was still stuck in his neck, while the other officer was out of danger.
Mr Lungu said Mr Chiyala was evacuated to Kabwe General Hospital but was later flown to Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital (UTH) where he is receiving treatment.
Mr Lungu explained  that earlier, the gunman  had  attacked another lodge  where  he  held  the receptionist hostage before  getting away with  a  cash  box containing money.
The authorities at the lodge informed the police who acted promptly and sent officers to the scene.
The thefts were mostly targeting lodges where people lost their valuables and money in a similar manner in Mkushi and Serenje Districts.
During the robberies, the gunman would hold security guards at gunpoint and used them to knock on the doors of the unsuspecting clients.
The first victim was the pastor from whom the attacker grabbed more than K2,000 and warned him against raising alarm.
A Lusaka-based road contractor was also recently robbed of K30,000 and an undisclosed amount of money in foreign currency at a lodge in Mkushi.