GOVERNMENT has dispatched a reinforcement of soldiers to Luano Valley in Mkushi District to beef up other security wings stationed in the area to hunt for the three fugitive notorious Mailoni brothers who have continued to terrorise residents.
The cold-blood killers – Mika, Fabian and Stephano – have been living in the valley while brutally killing people using spears.
Last week, the three viciously murdered a 43-year-old man who now becomes the 12th victim.
The Mailoni brothers are accused of brutally killing 12 innocent people in cold blood. Their victims include Zambia Flying Doctor Service (ZFDS) chief pilot, Moses Masumba.
The Zambia Police Service deployed its men to the area to hunt down the alleged serial killers after they murdered their first victims in 2009, but this has not yielded positive results so far.
The Mailoni brothers are also said to be responsible for the murder of Chief Chembe’s adviser, Christopher Nyama Champe of Shimpupula Village and Headman Mbalakawe Chipokolo of Shitambeni Village.
In 2010, Government sent over 20 police officers to Luano Valley to beef up security and bring the alleged murderers to book, but to no avail.
The Mailoni brothers are said to be taking advantage of their good knowledge of the vast forest to evade security officers.
The infamous family of killers – led by a man whose real name is Katunda – murdered up to five people in the Mkushi-Serenje area in 2009, using the most primitive manner of bow and arrow, according to the police.
What has been hard to understand is how the brothers have proved difficult to nail even when they are collectively going about with a K50 million bounty on their heads which the Zambia Police Service has staked for information leading to their arrest.
A special paramilitary police task force was dispatched to the area in 2010 and recovered weapons which were used in the murder of Dr Masumba in the same area.
Defence Minister, Geoffrey Mwamba said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the Government was concerned about the residents who were now living in fear of the notorious killers who had brought despair among the locals.
“We have just sent a reinforcement of troops to Luano Valley and we are very determined to hunt for them and capture them. We shall not rest until we capture them.
“As Government, we are saddened with the continued killings of innocent people at the hands of these brothers and this time we shall not leave any stone unturned but work in all areas to capture them,” Mr Mwamba said.
Recently, Chief Chembe, who presides over Luano Valley, was quoted in the media as being a troubled man as he risked being a chief without people if the Mailoni brothers continued to commit atrocities.
He said operations at three schools in Chembe, Liteta and Chinika and two other community schools had been affected as both pupils and teachers were scared of the notorious killers.
But Mr Mwamba said the defence and other security agencies were on the ground in the valley to continue conducting operations to arrest the suspected murderers.
“Our reinforced troops and other security wings will be there for serious operations to pursue these notorious killers.
“I can assure Luano residents that Government is committed to capturing the suspects,” he said.
Since 2007, the three Mailoni brothers, who were initially four before one retreated, had been on the police wanted list for murder crimes and terrorising the locals in the area.
Mr Mwamba said the dispatched reinforcement of troops would join other security agencies such as the police already stationed in the hilly terrain of Central Province to pursue the killers.
He said the Government was concerned with continued reports of some residents in the valley and surrounding areas who lived in fear and abandoned their fields and homes due to the killers.
The Minister said the combined defence forces would mutually work as a team to strategise and explore effective methods to track down the fugitive and notorious brothers.
[Times of Zambia]