Lungu refutes media reports that prison warders killed 10 prisoners
Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu has challenged people alleging that about 10 inmates at Mukobeko maximum prison died after beatings from trainee prison warders to move a motion of judicial review to set up an inquest to establish the truth concerning the death of the prisoners.
Mr Lungu who has maintained that no single prisoner died out of the alleged beatings said those making the allegations should cause the courts of law to set up an inquest so that the truth could be established.
He said government has no money at the moment to set up a tribunal as demanded by some sectors of society the challenging civil society who had the capacity to go ahead and establish a tribunal.
Mr Lungu who is also Chawama Member of Parliament was speaking in an interview with journalists after the closure of the Zimbabwe/Zambia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security held at Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
The minister explained to journalists that the inmates in question died from natural causes on different dates but since their relatives were not forthcoming to claim for their bodies, the prisoners were piling at the Kabwe General hospital.
Mr Lungu who said he would address journalists on the issue this Saturday said that he has been watching with keen interest reports on private owned MUVI television adding that he had dispatched his deputy Alfridah Kansembe on a fact finding mission to Kabwe who established that the reports were unfounded.
He said that the reality on the ground was that the inmates died from natural causes on different times but their bodied had not been claimed by their relatives.
Mr Lungu said since some people did not want to believe what he, the human rights commission, Zambia prisons Commission and his deputy has been saying, he was now challenging them to move motion for a judicial review for an inquest to be set so that if it was established that the allegations were true, the perpetrators could be brought to book.
“ I want that person I saw on MUVI television to move a motion for judicial review by way of an inquest to find out the truth so that the law can take its course. I want that man to move the process so that he can tell the coroner who is a magistrate the truth he knows concerning the death of the inmates” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu said that there were a lot of falsehood circulating on some online publications and it was up to the people of Zambia to judge the truth.
While government has maintained that no prison died as a result of the confusion that allegedly erupted at the prison after three prisoners escaped, some sectors of society have maintained that more than eight inmates died from beatings melted out on them by train prison warders.