One non commissioned Zambia Air force officer together with his two colleagues from the Zambia army are nursing serious injuries at Kabwe General hospital after the explosives they stole from the Zambia army armoury exploded on Monday while they were trying to extract red mercury.
The three men in uniform met their fate in Lukanga township on Monday at about 17:00hrs and later in the night separately went to the hospital to fake the causes of the injuries. One had his hand chopped off while on the other hand he lost four fingers and is admitted to intensive care unit.
Hospital sources told the Zambian Watchdog that one claimed that he was involved in a road traffic accident, the other one lied that he was assaulted by unknown people while the their one claimed it was a house accident.
The other two are admitted to ward 9 and after police searched their homes in Chowa and Lukanga townships, they recovered even more dangerous items ranging from detonators to heavy duty explosives and hand held grenades, but police want to keep the incident as a top secret while efforts to take the trio to Maina Soko military hospital in Lusaka are being made.
Last week on Friday, UPND provincial youth chairman Milner Mwanakampwe warned that government must avoid keeping soldiers in compounds as it was a potential recipe for crime. The same week, a senior officer from the army headquarters told the Watchdog that Zambian soldiers have been frustrated by the ill treatment they have been getting from the PF government ranging from removal of allowances, withdrawal of mealie meal and other incentives and some have now resolved to be executing criminal activities.
The source further added that such events must ring loud bells to the government because the motive of the soldiers other than the extraction of red mercury remains unknown, he also said that it was not established as to how deep rooted the scandal is since military stocks are not regularly checked.