STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo has warned criminals that police will not sit idly by and watch them become victors as
the officers are equal to the task.
And Mr Kampyongo has announced that Government has disbursed K18 million to be paid to officers who undertook the phase three mobile national registration exercise prior to the 2016 elections.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Mr Kampyongo said Government is saddened by the shooting to death of two police officers by criminals in Ndola after an exchange of gunfire.
Two police officers from the anti-robbery squad were on Tuesday killed by bandits after they attempted to thwart a day-light robbery involving K231,500.
Police too shot dead two of the criminals, and another in Kitwe.
Mr Kampyongo has since conveyed President Lungu and Government’s condolences to the families of slain detective sergeants Ben Chilubula and Francis Kunda.
“Our condolences to the families of the police officers who were killed by the bandits. Government shall continue to support our hard-working police officers through provision of logistics and moral support. The battle criminals have waged will be won by police,” Mr Kampyongo said.
“We will not allow criminals to be victors. The criminals are lethal but we will deal with them because our police are equal to the task,” Mr Kampyongo said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kampyongo has said that all those who participated in phase three of the mobile national registration exercise will be paid as part of the money has been raised by Government.
The total money owed to the officers is K36 million.
“Government has set aside funds amounting to K18 million for a total of 30 days out of the 60 days owed to them. The remaining 30 days will be paid immediately the funds are available,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He said information going round that Government will not pay those who worked during the exercise are false because people worked for their money.
The exercise was undertaken between November 2015 and January 2016, in Luapula, Copperbelt and North-Western provinces for 90 days.
Only 30 days were paid then.
And NANCY SIAME reports that the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has condemned the killing of the two police officers and the wounding of a civilian by criminals in Ndola, describing the act as criminal, and a grave violation of the right to life of the officers.
The commission has called on the public to help police track down the suspected criminals who are still on the run.
“Police officers are law enforcers who work tirelessly to protect property and life of others on a daily basis under difficult and risky situations, and must, therefore, be protected from any form of interference or harm during the course of their duty,” reads a statement issued yesterday by HRC spokesperson Mweelwa Muleya.
The commission has appealed to Government to consider prioritising the procurement of adequate bullet-proof jackets and any protective device for law enforcement officers, particularly those working in sensitive operations such as the anti-robbery squad, to protect them from criminals.
“Police officers are primary human rights defenders in line with their constitutional mandate, and it is deeply regrettable that they have to pay with their own lives in the course of securing the rights of others,” the statement reads.
The commission has called on everyone to collaborate with law enforcement officers in maintaining public security, law and order, to promote a conducive environment for enjoyment of human rights such as conducting business without fear of being robbed.
And CHISHALA MUSONDA reports from Ndola that a firearm recovered in Tuesday’s robbery belongs to a Chinese national who was robbed of money and a pistol in Kitwe some two months ago.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga said the Chinese man was robbed at Sabina in Kitwe.
Mrs Katanga also said the Toyota Corolla which was used in the robbery bearing two registration numbers has been traced to a taxi driver of Kalulushi.
An airgun and two pistols were recovered after police shot dead two bandits, while two of their accomplices escaped.
Mrs Katanga also stated that the money involved in the robbery was K231,500 and not K300,000 as earlier indicated.