THREE men who helped track and identify the murderous Mailoni brothers in Luano Valley last year have failed to claim the K50,000 bounty due to lack of transport.
The three claim that they helped to positively identify three Mailoni brothers to a Zambia Army corporal who gunned them down.
In 2012, the Zambia Police Service command set aside a cash reward of K50,000 as an incentive for people to help in capturing the Mailoni brothers who had been terrorising the valley and killed several people.
Feston Kalipenta, Oliver Kalipentala and Kalumba Chola want to claim the bounty, saying they accompanied Corporal Joy Shapela and identified the Mailoni brothers on the banks of Tukuma stream before the terrorists were gunned down.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mail on Thursday in Kabwe, Mwalala ward councillor Benford Katiti said the three men are aware of the role they played in ending the reign of the terror of Mika, Stephen and Fabian – collectively known as Mailoni brothers.
“We have three people named Feston Kalipenta, Oliver Kalipentala and Kalumba Chola and they are aware that the police was offering a reward,” Mr Katiti said.
“There is hunger there [Luano valley]. So, they are failing to raise money for transport to start the process of claiming the reward.”
Mr Katiti wants the three men to have an audience with Luano district commissioner Christopher Chibuye to kick- start the process of claiming the reward.
Mr Katiti said although the Zambia Police Service high command has not been officially approached over the reward, police officers in Chimika are aware that the three men helped Corp Shapela in identifying the Mailoni brothers.
He said the Zambia Police Service command needs to be given correct information about what transpired on June 24 last year in Luano Valley as the men also deserve recognition for the role they played.
“The soldiers did not know those culprits, these (locals) are the ones who identified them as the true Mailoni brothers, that is how the soldier was alert and he shot them,” Mr Katiti said.
He added: “What is important is to provide the police with the information they need because the three people are the ones who led the soldiers where the Mailoni brothers were found.”
And in a recent interview, Corp Shapela said he was escorting the three locals who positively identified the callous brothers before gunning them down.
Corp Shapela recalls that he gunned down the Mailoni brothers around 15:30 hours on June 24, 2013 as they charged towards him with their long spears.
Mr Chibuye said, “For sure there was something that was promised (reward) and they deserve to be recognised.
“I am yet to meet them and with the help of the councillor [Mr Katiti] and Chief Chembe we want to hear how best they would want to be appreciated,” he said.
Central Province police chief Standwell Lungu has maintained that no one has approached his office to claim the reward.
Zambia Daily Mail