Lusaka Province Police Commissioner Nelson Phiri has confirmed the death of the ZAF officer Mark Choongwa but claims he was beaten by fellow detainees. Phiri says the inmates would all be charged with murder.
Phiri narrated that Stg Choongwa turned violent when he was approached by police officers who went to the accident scene.
“The man died on his way to the hospital after having been beaten by fellow inmates in the cells. First of all, he caused an accident, bashed into somebody’s car. So that accident was reported at Nyumba Yanga Police Post and officers went to attend to it,” Commissioner Phiri narrated.
“But somehow he became violent, such that it had to take a reinforcement from Woodlands Police. He actually assaulted one of the police officers, so he had to be taken to Woodlands police station.”
Asked if the ZAF officer was in a drunken state, Phiri said he could not confirm that in the absence of a medical report.
“So he was detained for assault on police, now in the cells again he picked up a quarrel with inmates there, who descended on him and beat him up. Others called officers who were on duty. The officers rushed there and saw that he was in bad shape. They tried to rush him to the hospital and on arrival there, he was pronounced dead,” said Phiri.
“The inmates will be charged for the offence of murder if it will come out that he died of beatings. That is what we are doing and the inmates are still with us.”