STEVEN MVULA, NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Lusaka, Kitwe
POLICE in Lusaka have recovered six vehicles and a firearm that were used by suspected criminals to commit a spate of crimes including murder in various parts of Zambia.
Police spokesperson Esther Katongo warned that police are up to the task to curb crime and so far, 15 suspected criminals are in police custody.
â€œI wish to warn all criminals in Lusaka that police are not sleeping. We are actively protecting the innocent citizens and to ensure that business goes on peacefully,â€ Mrs Katongo said.
Speaking during a display of the recovered vehicles and the firearm at Lusaka Police Division yesterday, Mrs Katongo said the police have been on top of things in ridding Lusaka of criminals.
Five vehicles have been identified by the owners while one remains unclaimed.
Mrs Katongo explained that early this month, a gang of robbers stole three cars in Nampundwe area while the other three were stolen in Chongwe at gunpoint.
Mrs Katongo said the suspects changed the number plates of the vehicles and later sold them to unsuspecting members of the public who in turn used them as taxis.
Five suspects in these robberies were arrested after police conducted an operation in Lusaka.
The suspects are all from Chibolya and Kanyama townships.
Mrs Katongo said another gang of eight suspected robbers was arrested after they staged a daylight robbery and stole K79,100 after waylaying a sales lady at Green Valley Estates.
In another case, police have recovered a pump-action shotgun that suspected criminals used to commit crimes in various parts of the country.
Police have so far arrested two foreigners identified as Justin Abdul Faruku Banda and Charles Brown Banda.
Mrs Katongo explained that the gun was being transported from Lusaka to other parts of the country on public transport and concealed as a parcel.
She said the suspected criminals would then collect the firearm and use it to commit crime.
Mrs Katongo said police have established that the same firearm was used in a recent murder of a foreigner in Lusakaâ€™s Woodlands residential area on Christmas Eve.
She also said the same firearm was used in a crime in North-Western Province and during two aggravated robberies in Lusakaâ€™s Chalala.
Meanwhile, police on the Copperbelt have arrested eight people and recovered assorted household goods including two motor vehicles altogether valued at K1.3 million.
The two motor vehicles, a Toyota Corolla registration number ACK 5329 a Toyota Caldina registration number ADG 4079, and assorted household goods were recovered from Kalulushi, Kitwe and Lufwanyama towns.
Other items recovered include 233 motor vehicle tyres, 199 rims for tyres and nine complete wheel sets for locomotives
Those arrested are Beatrice Botha of Kitwe, Nalishebo Kasiya of house number 581, Buchi township in Kitwe, Joe Mwewa, 21, of house number 72, Buchi township, and Likando Newa, 20, also of Buchi Township.
Others are Luka Chala of house number 34, central street in Nkana East, Justine Bwalya, 44, of house number 1069 Kawama Township, Shadreck Chibonga, 45, of house number G402, Ndeke Village, Chrispin Kazanga, 43, of house number 9612, Chimwemwe township and Christopher Chungu, 50, of house number 2990 Chimwemwe township.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga said at a press briefing in Kitwe yesterday that police have detained the suspects and they will appear in court soon.
â€œOur police officers have been carrying out operations here on the Copperbelt and they have recovered assorted household goods stolen from Kalulushi, Lufwanyama and Kitwe. We have also arrested eight suspects, who are in our custody,â€ Ms Katanga said.
She appealed to the residents of Kitwe, Kalulushi and Lufwanyama to visit the Kitwe district police headquarters to identify their property.
And police on the Copperbelt have arrested a Zambia National Service (ZNS) officer who allegedly shot dead a resident of Chililabombwe during a patrol in Chewe farming area at Kasumbalesa border.
The ZNS officer whose identity has been withheld, allegedly shot Abel Anako Ress of house number W169, Lubengele township in Chililabombwe between 11:00 hours and 12:00 hours on Monday.
Ms Katanga said the ZNS officer was taken to the police station by his colleagues.
â€œThe officer from the Zambia National Service will definitely appear in court. Right now he is in our custody,â€ she said.
Ms Katanga also said police in Chililabombwe have arrested the man who axed his wife on Friday last week.
She said the suspect, identified as Elias Mwansa, 47, of Chimfushi area in Chililabombwe, axed his wife on the neck several times, almost decapitating her.
STEVEN MVULA, NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Lusaka, Kitwe