Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:36:34 +0000


THERE was total silence in the Lusaka Magistrates Court yesterday when a senior police officer told an inquest that a police witness lied when he told the court two weeks ago that police shot dead UPND cadre Mapenzi Chibulo.

Lusaka Central Detective Chief Inspector Kaunda told the inquest that Mapenzi was not killed by a police bullet as alleged by his colleague but that a deep mystery still surrounds the events of July last year during the confusion when police tried to stop UPND cadres marching to Chawama for a rally.

The dective chief inspector said there was also mystery about the camera man who appeared to follow Mapenzi during the protest and captured her movements up to the point she lay on the ground after being shot.

The camera followed her to the hospital where she was pronounnced dead.

“We lied that we shot Mapenzi Chibulo, a UPND supporter who was shot dead during a UPND protest after the opposition party was refused to hold a rally in Chawama in July last year,’’  Detective Chief Inspector Kaunda told the hushed court.

Chief Inspector Kaunda made the startling confession in the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court yesterday when he gave evidence during the continued murder inquest of the late Ms Chibulo.

He denied that Ms Chibulo was felled by a police bullet as earlier confessed by Lusaka Central officer-in-charge Inspector N. Mwale who testified that the deceased was shot by police.

Mr Mwale had told the court that police shot Mapenzi but he could not confirm which one because there were many officers deployed at the scene.

But Detective Chief Inspector Kaunda stated that it was wrong for Inspector Mwale to state that Ms Chibulo was shot by a police officer when he was not at the scene and that the only role he played was to pick up the body and write a report.

He further stated that he believed that Inspector Mwale made that confession following the ‘‘wrong questions’’ that he was asked by the interested parties at the inquest when he appeared before the court.

Asked who should be believed between Inspector Mwale and him regarding the suspected killer of Mapenzi as they had given conflicting evidence, Chief Inspector Kaunda replied that the court should believe his testimony as he was the chief investigator in the matter, adding that the only role his colleague played was to pick the body and write a report.  “I should be the one to be believed because I have always been the one handling this case. The only part Inspector Mwale played was just to pick up the body and write a report,” Mr Kaunda said.

Mr Kaunda told the court that when the postmortem was conducted in the presence of the family members the forensic experts did not find any bullets in the body which made it difficult to ascertain which gun was used.

Chief Inspector Kaunda told Magistrate Felix Kaoma, who is sitting as a coroner in the inquest, that after he was given the docket of murder involving Ms Chibulo he carried out some investigations and according to his findings he was shocked to see pictures of the deceased which went viral on social media which were taken from the scene before Mapenzi  died and another picture when she was lying dead at the University Teaching Hospital.

He added that he suspected that the person who posted those pictures could be the one behind the murder of Ms Chibulo and acting on that suspicion, he wrote to the director of ZICTA to assist him avail the person who posted those photographs on social media.  But the authority replied that it was difficult because Facebook and Whatsapp on which the photographs were posted was controlled from the United States.

Asked why he had told the family members that he had failed to find the would-be killer of Ms Chibulo, he responded that he had not failed as he was still investigating but he had challenges because the family refused to avail the two witnesses who reported to them that their family member had been shot by a police officer.

The matter was adjourned to a later date for continued hearing.


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