A middle aged woman of Chowa township in Kabwe died on the spot this afternoon when the Toyota Carina Registration number ACT 8552 she was traveling in overturned as it was being pursued by two police Land cruiser vehicles in the ongoing stand off between the police and taxi drivers, which has now entered day 3. The driver, only know as Moses is said to have been confused after the accident and his whereabouts are still unknown as he ran into the nearby bush but an eye witness fears he may be dead as well going by the magnitude of the accident.
And over 10 taxi drivers have been locked up at Kabwe central police station but police central province commissioner Standwell Lungu says he has not received the report, while officers at the police station refuted the lock up story, but a high ranking officer says Lungu is telling lies about the report.
The accident happened at about 15:00hrs after Police were chasing the vehicle from Chowa along Mine Road following a command from Kabwe DC Patrick Chishala on the police to impound unregistered taxis also known as pirate taxis.
On wednesday, traffic police are reported to have been instructed by DC Chishala to impound the vehicles inn response to the bus drivers’ petition last month asking his office to stop pirating as the bus drivers complained that the pirate taxis had taken over business from them despite them (Piraters) not paying taxes.
Yesterday the taxi drivers protested at the DC’s office who promised to look into their plight but U-turned after a meeting with traffic police and Road transport and safety agency (RATSA) officials and maintained his instruction to the police to impound and detain thge drivers.
The taxi drivers in their petition to Chishala yesterday said they were not against the idea of paying taxes but demanded that government introduces a system through which they can register with RATSA and still pay the relevant taxes and be given a grace period in which to paint their vehicles.
Chishala who was also running a pirate taxi until his appointment as DC objected to the proposal from them, and maintained that their business is illegal.
The piraters argued that if President Sata allowed street vending, which was more harzadous than pirating, they saw no reason why they should be banned over painting of vehicles. They also claimed that the same vehicles were used in the campaigns for the PF and were promised that they would be given permanent jobs but wondered how they had now become illegal.
And an eye witness to the accident who declined to be named said he was disappointed with the leadership’s failure to address a simple problem as this. The witness said that the piraters were youths who were unemployed not by their design and said government must engage them for calm to be maintained. He said he spoke to Chishala and Bwacha MP Sydney Mushanga who did not seem concerned about the matter.
Meanwhile about 10 youths are in police cells at Kabwe central and Chowa police stations. with the latest being locked up this afternoon when they went to apply for permit to hold a peaceful demonstration to air their grievances following the standoff with police.
When contacted for comment Central province commissioner of police Standwell Lungu said he had not received any report on the matter, but sources from his office confirmed that he had a report to that effect. “The Compol gets daily incident reports (DIR) and this problem has been on his table, but he is just hiding the truth, typical of PF police,” said one senior police woman.