Over 50 Zambia National Service (ZNS) recruits have been arrested and currently detained at various police stations in Kabwe after they went on rampage raping and assaulting women in town in the early hours of Monday morning.
On Saturday 623 recruits passed out after undergoing military training at the ZNS training school in Kabwe and the occassion was graced by defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba but after getting their allowances some recruits went on a drinking spree in town where they allegedly misbehaved.
A source told the Zambian watchdog that the recruits became riotous after they were confronted by police. “These chaps went drinking and afterwards started started sexually harrassing women in town, they became so riotous and had it not been for quick action by police the whole scenario would have degenerated into something else,” said the source.
Meanwhile security officers want the matter to be treated secretly but the assaulted victims want justice to be done. Over 10 women have complained of cases ranging from rape to assault after they were picked by the recruits from some known night clubs inn Kabwe.
Most of the accused recruits are said to have connections with the PF leadership and were part of the recruitment favoritism which characterized the intake even resulting into some people who had medical problems be enlisted for military training, some died while others were sent back amid training.
The defence ministry has issued instructions that the recruits be sent to headquarters for disciplinary action but police are stuck as to what action to take because there are some medical reports that have been issued to complainants and after the doctors sign and the victims identify them individually, they will have to face criminal prosecutions. Often there has been a crash between military personnel and the state police over superiority and the defence ministry is insisting that the recruits be arrested by military police but police say they are facing criminal charges which can only be handled by state police.
Efforts for the media to get a comment proved futile as the matter is being regarded was a security risk. It is only recently that 18 prisoners were allegedly battered to death by prison recruits and the criteria being used to recruit people for military training is being questioned by many stakeholders.
And the watchdog has been told that the alleged Mukobeko prison escape was carried out with connivance with prison authorities after money allegedly exchanged hands. Reliable sources have confirmed the deaths and have divulged further information which we are further investigating, we will release it as it is fully compiled.