Ephraim Mateyo’s contributions to the nation will never be forgotten

 Ephraim Mateyo’s contributions to the nation will never be forgotten

………………………..Inspector General of Police 2005 to 2008

Born on 03rd April, 1946 in Chief Kapijimpanga’s Chiefdom in Solwezi District of North Western Province, Mr Ephraim Mateyo was the 13th in the line of former Inspector Generals of the Zambia Police. He was in the Top Office of the Institution from 2005 to 2008.

He started School in 1955 at Kifumbwa Primary School where he did his Sub A to standard two after which he proceeded to Kapijimpanga Secondary School where he furthered his education up to standard six. In April 1964, the youthful lad joined the Zambia Police Force as a constable at Lilayi Police College .

After his training, he was posted to Lusaka Central Police under the supervision of Mr Peter Safi where he did beat duties until the time when he was taken to the inquiries desk.

Mr Mateyo boasted of being a very smart constable to the extent that his picture I a police uniform was put in an old famous Primary School book “ Jelita and Mulenga”.

In the year 1968, he attended a promotional course at Lilayi Police College and by then he had already enrolled to do his form one and two distance education at Evelyn Hone College. After completing his promotional course, he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector and later appointed Administration Inspector for Lusaka Division.

In 1972, Mr Mateyo was appointed Officer-in Charge for Chelstone Police Station. During this period, Airport Division was falling under Chelstone Police as a police post. It was during this same period that Mr Mateyo was sent to bwana Mkubwa in Ndola to do a Military training. after successful completion of the training, he was transferred to Paramilitary Headquarters in Lilayi as Platoon Commander.

He was then sent to the United Kingdom at Chatterden Royal Military Academy to train in military skills for a period of one year, a year later, the force introduced a unit called Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU)
And Mr Mateyo was privileged to be among the nine officers selected to undergo a two months course aimed at acquainting them with necessary skills.

People may wish to know that between 1974 and 1976 during the uprising of Mushala in North Western Province, Mr Mateyo participated in a series of operations aimed at arresting the situation which were conducted jointly with the Defence Force and other security wings.

In 1976, he was promoted to the rank of Chief Inspector and between 1976 and 1977, he was seconded to the Zambia Army Headquarters as a Police Liaison Officer. Towards the end of 1977, he was transferred from Paramilitary to Police Force Headquarters on promotion as Assistant Superintendent and became Special assistant to the Late Inspector General of Police Mr Fabiano Chela who was also Minister of State, now Home Affairs. This saw Mr Mateyo taking up the role of Police Secretary, running two offices at once.

After the retirement of Mr Chela, Mr Mateyo was transferred back to Paramilitary as Company Commander for C- Company and thereafter he was sent back to Zambia Army Headquarters as Police Liaison officer, the position he had held earlier.

In 1985 whilst visiting troops in Chisamba, Mr Mateyo shot and killed a duiker on a private farm, a situation which saw him being ambushed , arrested and charged for being in possession of government trophy . This led to his suspension from the force for two years.

After his acquittal, the Police and Prisons Commission recommended that he be demoted from the rank of Assistant Superintendent to Chief Inspector and be transferred to either Shangombo or Kaputa District but was saved by Mr Mapili who was Inspector General of Police at the time.

Mr Henry Mtonga became Inspector General of Police and ordered the review of Mr Mateyo’s case suspension and demotion and it was discovered that the officer was unfairly treated even after his acquittal.

He was then transferred to Woodlands Police Station as Officer-in –Charge where he met the Late President Mr Michael Chilufya Sata who was governor at the time. Crime in Lusaka was quite high with Mtendere being infested with a group of boys that were calling themselves “Ninja boys” and Mr Mateyo working with other officers wiped out the notorious gang.

Mr Mateyo who had gained back his rank of Assistant Superintendent was later transferred to Lusaka Central Police as Officer –In-Charge and later became Staff Officer for Lusaka Division during the reign of Mr Zunga Siakalima.

In 1991 Mr Mateyo was promoted to Superintendent and appointed Aid- de-Camp to the Vice President Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa , the position he held until 1994 when Mr Mwanawasa resigned. Mr Mateyo was promoted to Senior Superintendent and transferred back to Paramilitary Battalion Headquarters , this time as Deputy Commanding Officer.

Six months later, he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and took over as Commanding Officer, he later became Commanding Officer for Southern Province at the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police.

By 1998, Mr Mateyo became so popular, to the extent that he was retired in national interest and nominated Member of Parliament and appointed Deputy Minister in the Office of Vice President. Mr Mateyo was later transferred to the Ministry of Defence until 2001 after he lost the Solwezi Central Constituency seat which he had contested.

This was during the elections which saw Mr Mwanawasa elected as Republican President, hence recalled Mr Mateyo as Commissioner of Police for Special Duties at State House until his appointment in 2006 as Inspector General of Police.

Whilst serving as Inspector General, Mr Mateyo acted as Chairperson of the Task Force, before the appointment of the late Maxwell Nkole and also headed the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) when Mr Ryan Chitoba was retired.

During his reign, Mr Mateyo became the first Zambia Inspector General to chair the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO).

Even in his retirement , Mr Mateyo always spoke against corruption and warned members of the public to desist from bribing police officers and later branding them with the tag of corruption.

His usual statement was “ I take very strong exceptions when people say that police officers are the most corrupt.

First of all, who corrupts these officers, isit fellow police officers or members of the public?

Mr Ephraim Mateyo died on 17th June, 2021 after a short illness.

His contribution to the nation will never be forgotten by the Zambia Police Service and nation at large.

Authored by Zambia Police Public Relations Office.

Alice Nachilembe


Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.