Inquiry report confirms disunity between police and defence forces, claims ZAF officer died of stress

Flight Sergent Choongwa

An inquiry report presented to parliament by Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo today has confirmed that there is disunity between the Zambia Police and Defence forces in the Army, Zambia Air force and Zambia National Service.
And the report from the Joint Board of Inquiry on the murder of ZAF officer Flight Sergeant Mark Nchimunya Choongwa has claimed that the officer died of stress on his back and trauma of being in cells which triggered events which led to his ‘sudden’ death.
The report also states that the events which culminated in the death of the ZAF officer arose from a traffic accident at a car wash in Lusaka and claims that Choongwa had resisted arrest.
It further states that the police however used excessive force to push him in police cells and that there was no malice to commit murder on the part of the police officers but that there was negligence.
The board recommended that the officers involved be charged with manslaughter and that relations between the police and defence forces be improved.
The report states that it was disappointing that defence forces and the police have a negative perception of each other and that this appears to have prevented the officers from according each other mutual respect.
The ZAF officer was arrested on 18th March 2017 following a minor traffic ofence and later died in police custody at Woodlands Police Station.
Kampyongo had at that time disputed media reports that the defence forces had poor relations with the police.

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