Increased cases of kikondo practice worries IG
By Staff Writer
Police in North-Western Province has recorded nine cases of kikondo (moving coffin) between January 2022 and January 2023 with only one arrest made.
Kikondo (moving coffin) cases are rampant in Solwezi and Kasempa Districts, it is a ritual practice by local people in some parts of the Province which they believe help to identify killers of their relatives mostly in suspicious circumstances.
And the Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba is irked by the increase in the number of murder cases involving ritual killings commonly known as kikondo in North-Western Province.
Mr Kajoba said all the recorded incidents involve elderly people aged between 60 and 90 who are alleged to have been behind the death of the person in their communities.
He said the perpetrators including the relatives of the deceased abandon their villages immediately after practicing kikondo as they know that Police will be looking for them.
Mr Kajoba said it is alleged that the mob in the villages where these crimes occur join in by beating the victims with various weapons once identified by the ‘moving coffin’.
The IG, who is in North-Western Province on a familiarization tour, has since instructed officers to make sure that all suspects are rounded-up and be made accountable for their actions.
“Your target should be the Pallbearers and the relatives. Arrest and charge them for murder,” he said.
He has also directed to move additional manpower of Paramilitary officers deployed in Zambezi District to Solwezi and Kasempa Districts in order to assist in the manhunt of the suspects who are currently on the run.
The Police Chief cautioned and reminded officers that the New Dawn Government was elected under the back drop of rule of law which respects human rights.
He said Zambia Police will ensure that the policy directive by the President is fulfilled.
“We cannot afford to see the degeneration of security situation in some parts of the country were people are brutally murdered on mere accusations of practicing witchcraft,” he said.
He observed that despite problems of long distances where these crimes occur, compounded by the lack of Police transport, efforts should be made at all costs of ensuring that culprits are held accountable of their actions as this will send a strong message to deter this primitive and inhuman practice by the people.
Meanwhile, Mr Kajoba has assured Police officers that the problem of transport will soon be a thing of the past as Government has bought more than 150 motor vehicles for the Zambia Police Service through Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Mr Kajoba said the motor vehicles are expected before the end of the first quarter of 2023.