POLICE have intensified the search for the head and private parts of a 28-year-old Lusaka taxi driver, who has been identified as Joseph Banda Simfukwe of Kanyama, as Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu orders Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani to net all the named suspects before the end of this week.
Mr Lungu gave Ms Libongani the ultimatum following the unprecedented rise in bizarre ritualistic style murders.
“I want the IG and her men and women to get to the bottom of this urgently and return calm to our city,” Mr Lungu said. “We have investigated murders but the one reported in your Sunday newspaper is really shocking and I want police on it 24 hours a day until all the named suspects are smoked out.”
Mr Lungu said the detained suspects that have already confessed to the killing have informed the police that they have already sold Mr Simfukwe’s head and private parts at an undisclosed price to a buyer in Southern Province.
Mr Lungu is not certain whether a serial killer or a group of serial killers exist.
“Police are on the trail for the buyer right now as I speak to you,” Mr Lungu said. “I am confident that the buyer of these parts will be caught up with soon and I am appealing here and now to everybody who has any clue of this merchant of human parts to alert us.”
If the body parts are not found, Mr Simfukwe ostensibly maybe buried without them as soon as the family decides to make the decision to either bury or wait until his parts are recovered.
Mr Lungu said preliminary investigations suggest that someone is “giving young desperate people in Lusaka get-rich-quick illusions and offering them money but I must warn them we will catch all of them and they will stand trial”.
Mr Lungu said he has established a ‘special’ communication channel with Ms Libongani to ensure that he is kept up to date on the progress being made to capture master-minds of the ritualistic serial killers.
“I am also asking taxi drivers to be alert because the people killing them are people who know them…people they trust in most cases,” he said.
Meanwhile, YANDE SYAMPEYO reports that some taxi drivers told the Daily Mail in an interview yesterday that they will ask the police to allow them to carry guns so that they can protect themselves.
But Mr Lungu said: “We will not allow any taxi driver or anyone else for that matter to start accumulating firearms because there is no guarantee that they will sufficiently protect themselves with these guns in the absence of training.”
The suspects in the latest murder were found with KR2,000 (K2 million) and a .38 pistol believed to have been used in the crime.
Since June last year, Lusaka has been rocked by some bizarre ritual-style murders that have shocked many in the city leading to suggestions that there could be a serial killer on the loose, but Ms Libongani has rejected the serial killer theory.