CENTRAL Province Minister Ackimson Banda has urged Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde to intensify the hunt for fugitive Mailoni brothers who have continued killing people in Luano Valley in Mkushi district.
Mr Banda said in an interview in Kabwe yesterday it is saddening that even after police officers were deployed in the area to hunt the serial killers after they murdered their first victims in December last year, they have to date not been captured.
“The IG should come out and let us know what is happening in Luano Valley. Police were sent there, and it’s worrying that the Mailoni brothers are still at large,” Mr Banda said.
He was reacting to concerns of Chief Chembe of Luano Valley, who on Monday appealed to Government to dispatch a combined team of soldiers and game rangers from the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to hunt down the marauding killers.
Mr Banda said Government is concerned about the plight of Chief Chembe and his people.
He said there are a number of technicalities that need to be considered, which include hearing the position of the police and the Central Provincial Joint Operations Committee on the security situation in Luano Valley before soldiers can be dispatched to the area.
The minister said he is waiting for Mr Kabonde, through the office of the Central Province commanding officer, to update his office on the operations of the police assigned to patrol the valley.
He also echoed the concerns of Chief Chembe and Mkushi district commissioner Musonda Chunga, who said if the elusive serial killers are not arrested soon, the turnout at polling stations during this year’s elections might be negatively affected as the electorate are living in fear of the Mailoni brothers.
Mr Banda said Government is concerned people living in Luano Valley are now living in fear.
“If they are not arrested soon,it’s possible that the turnout during elections will be affected. This happened during the mobile voter registration because the people were fearing the Mailoni brothers,” Mr Banda said.
He appealed to people in the valley to co-operate with the police and give them information on the whereabouts of the brothers.
In their latest attack, the Mailoni brothers murdered Chief Chembe’s advisor, Christopher Nyama Champe of Shimpupula village, and headman Mbalakawe Chipokolo of Shitambeni village last Tuesday, bringing to 11 the number of their victims.
Last year, Government dispatched over 20 police officers to Luano Valley to beef up security and to arrest the murderers, but the villians have continued to elude the security dragnet.
The Mailoni brothers are said to be taking advantage of their good knowledge of the forest to evade the law enforcement officers.
One of their victims is former Zambia Flying Doctors Service chief pilot Dr Modesto Masumba.
[ Zambia Daily Mail ]