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Mungaila demands speedy, thorough probe into Vespers’ death

CHIEF Mungaila of Namwala district says government must thoroughly investigate the death of Vespers Shimunzhila without any undue influence and shielding of real perpetrators. He said his subjects hope was in God, the creator of humankind, to fight those that had a hand in the death of Vespers, a fourth-year University of Zambia student.

“As people of Mungaila chiefdom where late Vespers hailed from, we have no physical power to wrestle against government which sent its machinery that led to the death of our daughter at UNZA,” Mungaila said.

“Even if in this case we would have been guaranteed with real justice, but, we doubt if that will happen because everything is under government, the soldiers, police, and judiciary.”

He said it was for that reason that his subjects placed hope in God to fight those that had a hand in the death of Vespers on their behalf.

“This is a special case that starts and ends with government because the final institution to deal with this matter will be the court which is also government,” Mungaila said.

“So as people of Mungaila chiefdom, who have been heartbroken, we are not happy and it will be very difficult to understand the conclusion of this case if government itself won’t be in the outcome.”

He said if the government had presided over the matter that led to the death of Vespers in an amicable way, no life would have been lost. Mungaila demanded a speedy conclusion in the investigations to enable people understand what really transpired. He said his subjects were in serious pain having lost two youths who were students at UNZA in a space of a year, with the latest case being of Vespers. Mungaila said the case of Vespers was an indication that the country still had challenges that needed urgent attention if unity and love for one another was to prevail.

He appealed for calm among his subjects as God would fight their battle. Mungaila advised his subjects not to relent in sending their children to UNZA. He said leaders in government must endeavour to stand for the people in any circumstance. Mungaila said leadership called for sacrifice for the people that one led and taking full responsibility.

“Since it is the same government that sent the police to UNZA, we appeal to it that the case be investigated thoroughly without any undue influence and shielding of real perpetrators,” said Mungaila.
Last Friday, the Shimunzhila family said the case of Vespers is peculiar where the complainant is the State, the investigator is the state police and the prime suspect is the police.

The family asked police to urgently avail it copy of a post-mortem report failure to which it will reveal the findings of the post-mortem as witnessed. The family said the police had not been forthcoming to the family with the status of the investigations and that there is no organised liaison between the investigating team and the family.

The family said since there is a lot of public interest in the case, the government must urgently institute an inquest. The family said that, members of the public who are not within the police investigation target may be availed chance to give evidence.
The family also said a formal organised structure may be formed to steer a holistic approach to ensure justice is served for Vespers.
The family revealed that the Zambia Police had refused to avail it a copy of the post-mortem of Vespers following the issuance of the death certificate by the pathologist.

Vespers, a fourth year University of Zambia (UNZA) student, died from teargas suffocation following a police operation to quell protests at the Great East Road campus on the night on October 4.

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