By ROGERS KALERO
UNSCRUPULOUS Scrap Metal Dealers in Kitwe have gone on rampage vandalising name tags from graves at Chingola Road Cemetery,” the Kitwe City Council (KCC) has said.
KCC Public Relations Manager Chola Mwamba said the local authority was appalled by the inhuman and barbaric acts of some unscrupulous scrap metal dealers who were vandalising name tags from graves of the deceased at Chingola Road Cemetery.
Ms Mwamba said the local authority carried out an inspection last week to ascertain the reports coming from the general public that unknown people were removing markers from the grave yard.
“After carrying out the inspections, the local authority regrets to confirm that it is true as reported by the public that a number of grave markers have been removed from Chingola Cemetery by unknown scrap metal dealers suspected to be from Ituna, Twatasha and Race Course Compound.
“As a local authority, we are appalled by unscrupulous scrap metal dealers vandalising name tags from graves of the deceased at Chingola Road Cemetery in Kitwe,” Ms Mwamba said.
Ms Mwamba said, it was disappointing , because this act of theft, will make it difficult for families to identify graves of their deceased family members.
“Vandalism of a graveyard is an offence. The Local Authority therefore, wishes to appeal to Kitwe residents to report anyone whom they suspect of stealing grave markers,” she said
On November 5, 2021, the Kitwe City Council (KCC) opened a docket at Mindolo Police Station against persons trespassing on Chimwemwe East Cemetery following numerous incidents of trespassing on burial places and illegally allocating cemetery land.
The Local authority decided to put a K1000 cash reward for any person who makes a report to police leading to successful conviction of a trespasser.
Council Public Relations Officer Tamara Jacob Mwanza said the local authority has been receiving reports of unscrupulous people unlawfully demarcating cemetery land .
“Any person who trespasses on a place of burial commits a misdemeanour and was liable upon conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or with a fine or with both.
“It is for this reason that the local authority would like to inform members of the public that a docket OB 5877 has been opened at Mindolo Police Station following incidents of trespassing on burial places in Chimwemwe East contrary to section 130 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia as read together with section 38 of the Code,” Ms Mwanza said.
Ms Mwanza said the local authority was appealing to members of the public to alert Zambia Police if they see anyone demarcating land, destroying tomb stones and constructing any structures on the said cemetery.
“We appeal to members of the public to alert Zambia Police if they see anyone demarcating land, destroying tomb stones and constructing any structures on the said cemetery,” she said