Murder charged cops deserve justice

Written by on August 26, 2019

THE arrest of five police officers in Mpika over the death of two suspects is sad news indeed and a reminder of the challenges our law enforcement officers face every day as they maintain law and order.

It is unfortunate that the officers have found themselves in this predicament following the incident that happened as they were taking the two suspects in a murder case for scene reconstruction.

We sympathise with the relatives of the two brothers, Elijah Nondo Mwiko and Peter Mwaba Mwiko, who jumped from a moving vehicle as they were leading police to the scene of crime.

The two brothers of Mpika district were alleged to have shot dead a Chilonga Mission Hospital acting human resource officer early this month.

Overwhelmed by what awaited them in view of the increasing evidence that they allegedly shot dead the acting human resource officer early this month, Elijah and Peter decided to jump without thinking about the risk to their own lives.

What has come out of this most unfortunate saga is the need for the Ministry of Home Affairs to work with the Ministry of Finance to find resources and provide the right equipment for police to use in their daily work.

This includes appropriate transport for the conveyance of suspects, convicts and police officers themselves from one place to another.

The Mpika incident that has led to the arrest of the five hardworking officers is a clear reflection of how vulnerable the officers themselves are as they enforce the law.

We do not believe that detective inspector Munga James, detective sergeant Simachulu Josam, detective constable Nkweto, detective Sergeant Chanda and constable Mulenga deliberately pushed the two suspects out of the vehicle.

Nor do we believe that they just watched as them plunged to their death.

The epicenter of the whole matter is the mode of transport.

The officers, we are sure, were using the only transport available to travel to the scene of the shooting with the suspects.

It is a well-known fact that our officers use open vans in most cases to transport suspects and convicts.

Officers can be seen perched precariously on tail and side gates of open vans and trucks full of suspects while carrying fire arms.

It is dangerous for the law enforcement officers because they have to hold the weapons and maintain a firm grip on the bodywork of the vehicle to keep balance as the same time.

If the suspects either attack them or try to jump out it will be difficult for the officers to defend themselves or stop the suspects or convicts from bolting.

We therefore appeal to the government to equip our police officers with appropriate equipment such as enclosed vans for the conveyance of suspects.

Instead of being tools of defence and prevention of crime the fire arms should not be an inconvenience.

We urge Muchinga Province Commissioner of Police Joel Njase to ensure the officers appear in court as soon as possible.

Whatever investigations are being carried out must be concluded in the shortest possible time so that there is justice for both the dead suspects and the incarcerated officers.

It appears the two brothers were bent on committing suicide looking at the content of the postmortem report as released by Mr Njase.

Though it is mere speculation we believe the officers were caught unawares by the death jump.

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