August 17, 2017
The Zambia Police has released almost all the suspects that were arrested in connection with the recent fires and acts of ‘sabotage’ witnessed across the country. A source close to the suspects confirmed that they were released last evening. “Yes we can confirm that the remaining six detainees were released last night and were secretly driven back to Southern Province in the night and have since arrived,” revealed the source.
On 15th July 2017, Police Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja told a press briefing that 11 suspects had been arrested to help the police with investigations on recent fires. That number later increased to 12. Kanganja however did not tell Zambians that all the 12 people had been picked from Southern Province and brought to Lusaka.
Six of the 12 suspects who were being held at Lilayi Police College were released without charge two weeks ago while the remaining six were also released without charge on Wednesday evening around 20:30 hours and were driven back to Southern Province in the night.
The 12 youths among them a soldier from the Zambia army were abducted and arrested from Livingstone and Kalomo a month ago and brought to Lusaka to justify the invocation of the state of emergency and cover the truth surrounding the burning of City Market in Lusaka. From the time Kanganja addressed the media on 15th July there has been no update on arrests being made or when suspects were to appear in court.
The last batch of suspects had been on hunger strike for almost 10 days. They were demanding to be brought before a judge and sources say the Police realized the disaster awaiting them should any of the youths die while in detention over trumped up charges.
UPND Vice President Dr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba last week revealed the decision the suspects had taken to go an indefinite hunger strike unless they were brought before the courts.
That all the so called arson suspects have been released, brings to the abysmal failure the PF’s plan, to accuse the UPND of having been behind the country wide fires. The long held view that the PF themselves burnt the markets in order to enable Lungu to declare the state of emergency to deal with political opponents is becoming more and more of credible theory.