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Peace-maker Lusambo caught in cross-fire

CHISHALA MUSONDA, Ndola
COPPERBELT Minister Bowman Lusambo was yesterday caught in the cross-fire of teargas in Lubuto township in Ndola, where protesting residents fought battles with police over the alleged killing of a man by an officer.
Coming in as a peace-maker, Mr Lusambo instead turned into an instant victim of teargas as he was trapped between the police firing the canisters trying to disperse angry residents and the flying objects on the other end.
Mr Lusambo, who is Kabushi member of Parliament (MP), had gone to the area following reports of residents having gathered outside the police post and threatening to set it on fire.
The residents were angered by a contradictory statement by police on the death of Obed Ngoma, 38, who was allegedly shot dead by a police officer for malicious damage at a bar in the township on Monday.
There were conflicting statements about where the victim was shot.
Mr Lusambo promised to follow up the matter with relevant authorities as he pleaded with the residents not to burn down the police post.
“We shall follow up this matter to its conclusive end and whoever is wrong will be punished by the law, so I beg you not to break anything at the police station. We all need this facility in future,” he said.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga said Mr Lusambo was caught in the action as police tried to disperse the residents, who started pelting officers with stones.
“The residents started moving to Lubuto market and started pelting stones and police were forced to discharge teargas. That is when the minister was caught up in the action,” Mrs Katanga said.
She said enough police officers were deployed to protect property in the area and follow up the complaint in the malicious damage case.

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