The Chingola Police Killing – What Happened?

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AT THE height of the gassing episode, in January last year, former Deputy IG of Police, Bonnie Kapeso, announced that police had shot and killed a citizen accused of being a gasser, in Chingola.

The circumstances surrounding the killing were both disturbing and bizarre.

Mr. Kapeso claimed the young man was shot in the legs, when he tried to run away, when police ordered him to stop.

The then Deputy IG announced, with not a modicum of remorse or seeming sense of how inexplicable that was, that the suspect bled out and died, as police watched.

To justify the killing, Mr. Kapeso displayed bottles with liquids that, he said, the young man had been carrying in a backpack.

The nation was told the liquids would be taken for analysis to a lab in Lusaka, and the nation informed of the outcome.

The public has not heard of the matter, since.

I found that incident very disturbing and wrote to the Human Rights Commission, requesting an investigation.

The Commission did not respond.

I have never forgotten that young man and I still want to know why he was killed in cold blood.

It bothers me that, when we list the citizens murdered by police in the last few years, he is not included.

He was shot buried and forgotten, in my view, sacrificed to show a public panicked by gassing, that the police were on top of things.

One year later, I ask what the lab analysis found to have been in those bottles, if indeed the bottles belonged to the young man.

Just because an individual is poor, and unconnected, it does not mean their life is worthless.

What the police did to Nsama Nsama and Joseph Kaunda on the 23rd of December, is exactly what they did to the faceless nameless Chingola boy – recklessly and lawlessly discharged live ammunition, when other policing tactics were available to them.

The Chingola boy must be remembered, his killers punished and family compensated.

May his blood join that of Mapenzi, Vespers, Frank, Joseph and Nsama in crying out from the grave against Katanga, Kapeso Kanganja and Kampyongo.

I hope the four of them hear all this blood they have shed bubbling in their ears, as they get on with their comfortable lives.

By Laura Miti

Kalemba January 4, 2021

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