By NOEL IYOMBWA
Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba has expressed concern with the increase in the number of murder cases involving ritual killings commonly known as kikondo in North-Western Province.
Kikondo moving coffin is a ritual practice by local people in some parts of the North-Western Province which they believe help to identify wizards suspected to have caused the death of relatives.
Mr. Kajoba, who is in North-Western Province on a familiarization tour has since instructed officers to make sure that all suspects were rounded-up and be made accountable for their actions.
“Your target should be the Pallbearers and the relatives. Arrest and charge them for murder,” Mr. Kajoba said.
He further directed to move additional manpower of Paramilitary officers deployed in Zambezi District to Solwezi and Kasempa Districts in order to assist in the manhunt of the suspects who are currently on the run.
The Police Chief cautioned and reminded officers that the new dawn government was elected under the back drop of rule of law which respects human rights.
He said Zambia Police shall ensure that the policy directive by President Hichilema was fulfilled.
“We cannot afford to see the degeneration of security situation in some parts of the country were people are brutally murdered on mere accusations of practicing witchcraft,” Mr. Kajoba said.
He observed that despite problems of long distances where the crimes occur, compounded by the lack of Police transport, efforts should be made at all costs of ensuring that culprits were held accountable of their actions.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kajoba has assured Police officers that the problem of transport shall soon be a thing of the past as government had procured more than 150 motor vehicles for the Zambia Police Service through Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
He said Police officers would be able to respond effectively to security concerns as each Constituency would have a Police motor vehicle.
Mr. Kajoba said the motor vehicles were expected before the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The Police Chief who is accompanied by the Commissioner for Administration Auxensio Daka, Commissioner of Police for North-Western Province Dennis Moola and other Senior Police officers interacted with officers in Solwezi, Kasempa, Mufumbwe, Manyinga, Kabompo and Zambezi Districts.
Police in North-Western Province recorded nine cases of Kikondo between January 2022 and January 2023 with only one arrest made so far. The cases are rampant in Solwezi and Kasempa Districts.
All the recorded incidents involve elderly people aged between 60 and 90 who are alleged to have been behind the death of the person in their communities.
The perpetrators including the relatives of the deceased abandon their villages immediately after practicing kikondo as they know that Police will be looking for them.
It is alleged that the mob in the villages where these crimes occur join in by beating the victims with various weapons once identified by the ‘moving coffin’.