Police in Northwestern Province have launched an enquiry into the murder of Patriotic Front (PF) province chairperson Jackson Kungo, 39, at Kyawama secondary school polling station in Solwezi yesterday by suspected United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres.
According to Provincial Commissioner of Police Joe Njase, preliminary investigations suggest that the incident was a pre-planned and well-calculated move by the UPND against specific persons in the PF.
Mr Njase told ZANIS in a statement in Solwezi today that as police they are making headways in bringing the culprit to book, adding that there is a good number of witnesses who saw what happened.
“The incidence occurred around 14:00 hours at Kyawama day secondary school polling centre. The matter was reported by Nephan Kamwandi aged 44 that PF provincial chairperson who was also a member of the central committee of Mulemba Villa Park had been murdered by suspected UPND cadres who were casting their vote at the named polling station,” he said.
The provincial police chief said facts of the matter are that Mr Kungo in company of Mr Friday Mulemfwe went to the named polling station to check on the PF polling agents.
Mr Njase further stated that upon arrival he was confronted by some youths and in reaction the mob got agitated and started beating him using fists, sticks, kicks and stones accusing him of having pre-marked ballot papers.
“He later fell on the ground and was rescued by a combined security team. The victim was then rushed to Kandemba clinic where his condition worsened due to the injuries he sustained and was pronounced dead at Solwezi general hospital where he went on referral.
“The body of the victim was inspected as it was found with a cut on the back of the head and some bruises,” he said.
In a related incident, Mr Njase said police received a report of assault of Obed Mukanzo aged 38 of Kazomba involving suspected UPND cadres equally suspected to be in possession of pre-marked ballot papers.
“A Zambia army soldier, Mweemba Monze aged 33 of Solwezi logged a complaint that he had been assaulted by a mob that caused him to sustain a deep cut on the forehead as a stone was used to inflict the said injury,” Mr Njase said.
Meanwhile, Mr Njase said in Ikelenge, Ignious Mweemba, a poll staff at Ikelenge polling station was harassed by voters after being suspected to be in possession of pre-marked ballot papers.
“Sergeant Nyachiu the station CIO for Ikelenge was equally assaulted in the process trying to rescue the said man and sustained a cut in the hand as a stone is alleged to have been used,” he said.
Mr Njase added that William Diane aged 32, also a polling assistant at Zambezi primary school was manhandled by a mob of voters suspected to be UPND cadres as he was trying to sort out spoiled ballot papers which they mistook for election rigging.
In a separate interview with ZANIS Caritus Zambia Solwezi coordinator, John Kalusa has strongly condemned the pockets of violence that were recorded at Kyawama polling station in which Mr Kungo was beaten and later died.
Mr Kalusa said no matter the situation people should not resort to violence.
“As civil society we are saddened that life has been lost in such a manner”, he said.