Murder inside a police cell: ZAF Officer murdered inside Woodlands Police Station

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Murdered ZAF Officer
Murdered ZAF Officer

The death of a 34-year-old Zambia Air Force Flight Sergeant inside a police cell at Woodlands Police Station has left the Zambia Police Service panicking as it desperately tries to cover up the murder.

On Saturday night, Flight Sergeant Mark Nchimunya Choongwa was brutally beaten up by police officers at Woodlands Police after he was detained on a traffic offence.
He died shortly after he was thrown in police custody.

Eye witnesses have narrated that Choongwa found himself in an altercation with some officers around Cummings Bar in Nyumba Yamba after his BMW accidentally hit into a police car.

“The ZAF officer who was in civil attire apologised to this plain clothed police officer and he took full responsibility of the accident but the cop phoned his friends from Woodlands Police and started beating up the ZAF guy. They beat him up until he was weak, that is when they threw him in the police cell and the female officer who was by reception ordered the detainees to beat the ZAF guy further,” the eye witness narrated.

“The inmates refused to beat the ZAF officer and told the female officer that the person they have thrown in the cells was already dead.”

Another witnesses said Choongwa even introduced himself as a ZAF officer but that the police officers continued pounding him and accused him of being boastful because he was a ZAF officer.

One of the inmates who was inside the police cells when Choongwa was bundled in however narrated that another police officer who is a Judo trainer who was also detained started beating the ZAF officer who was weak at the time on instruction from the fellow police officers.

Moments later, Choongwa became unconscious and the police rushed him to UTH where he was pronounced dead.

Police quickly falsified the records to show the cause of death as ‘Traffic Accident.’

His wife upon realising that his phone had been switched off started for several hours managed to follow up the issue with Woodlands Police with the help of his friends.

It was at the police station that she was informed that her husband had died in road traffic accident and she went to UTH where she identified the body.

A check at the funeral house at ZAF Twin Palm found a distraught family struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

The widow wept continuously and was uncontrollable while family Spokesman and elder brother to the deceased vowed that the perpetrators of the crime will pay.
He said his late brother was a responsible young man who assumed the role of the bread winner in the family at a young age adding that he believes the deceased was provoked by the police officers.

The BMW which the police indicate was involved in a road accident and caused Choongwa’s death was later driven to Woodlands Police Station and is now parked at the deceased’s former home in ZAF Twin Palm.

And Lusaka Province Police Commissioner Nelson Phiri has confirmed the death of Choongwa but insists that he was beaten by fellow detainees.

Mr Phiri has since announced that police will go ahead and charge the detainees with murder.

He narrated Choongwa turned violent when he was approached by police officers who went to the accident scene.

“The man died on his way to the hospital after having been beaten by fellow inmates in the cells. First of all, he caused an accident, bashed into somebody’s car. So that accident was reported at Nyumba Yanga Police Post and officers went to attend to it,” Mr Phiri narrated.

“But somehow he became violent, such that it had to take a reinforcement from Woodlands Police. He actually assaulted one of the police officers, so he had to be taken to Woodlands police station.”

Asked if the ZAF officer was in a drunken state, Mr. Phiri said he could not confirm that in the absence of a medical report.

“So he was detained for assault on police, now in the cells again he picked up a quarrel with inmates there, who descended on him and beat him up. Others called officers who were on duty. The officers rushed there and saw that he was in bad shape. They tried to rush him to the hospital and on arrival there, he was pronounced dead,” said Mr. Phiri.

Mark Nchimunya Choongwa who ws clobbered to death
Mark Nchimunya Choongwa who ws clobbered to death
ZAF Officer Flight sergeant Mark Nchimunya Choongwa who was murdered while detained by Police
ZAF Officer Flight sergeant Mark Nchimunya Choongwa who was murdered while detained by Police

72 COMMENTS

  1. Sad. May he rest in peace. ZAF Officers should go on a rampage beating up cops in retaliation.

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    • He died in a traffic accident, came back to life, assaulted a Policeman, was thrown in police cells where he was beaten to death by inmates. Inmates to be charged with murder.

      Phew….our Police have quite some imagination, or is it the reporter?

      May his soul rest in peace.

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    • ZAF should toughen up and take revenge immediately. How do you let stupid cops kill one of your best. As a Flight Sergent, the man had so much to offer. ZAF should go and destroy the stupid Police station. This is what happens when you late uselessness to reign. People start taking the law into their hands. Lawlessness should stop and destroying the stupid Police station will send a clear message especially to the leadership who have been condoming lawlessness

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    • Ok. Apa pena Bwana Nainyelawila. You are used to cover up each other whenever you kill civilians but now mwapaya boma yizanu. This is the time for government to correct the perception that some people are above the law… And please do not treat this case with kids gloves.

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    • Balaponona ba fiwa aba bakapokola. In the cells also the moment you enter they welcome you with beatings.
      Advice to all those would be offenders in zambia is the, upon entering the cell say naposha inganda and embrace your heard with your hands because you are about to receive beatings from all directions. because you are moving from a light place to a dark place and you can not see who is throwing punches.
      I know what I am saying I was beaten at Mtendere police post. The room is as big as a toilet and 20 people where inside. They beat me and I screamed like a no mans business. Thanks to my mtendere girl friend who rescued me with a $10,000.00 she gave those hungry cops. Very bad cops in Africa and trigger happy too

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    • I have been to cells before and most cases its the police who tell inmates to beat up a new entrant. In normal cases, inmates will first welcome you then ask you what wrong you did and will never beat you without police instructions. Again when one is put in cells, he is responsibility of the police not inmates. So bwana whichever way, you are responsible. Every cop involved should be charged for murder and aiding murder as well as supporting murder (in this case Phiri). The police in Zambia are serious criminals

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    • Chief ndungu wandungu i don’t think ZAF officers can do that, Zambia army would have reciprocated accordingly, just ask anyone from other defence wings, they tell you that ZAF officers are yobaliz they are the some of us for defense wings pa zed, am sure immediately he said am ZAF, tukapokola were like twaikaka lelo.

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    • Mushota stop showing us your tribal butt hole, how do you know he is not bemba, what if he was adopted, just like frank has adopted a bwalya name.

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    • We have an incompetent and heavily politicized Police Force. For a young man of 34 to lose a life in this manner is very sad. The buck stops at the Commander in Chief, Edgar Lungu who keeps appointed undeserving and unqualified people to head the Police. MHSRP

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    • I agree with you. Let ZAF beat the hell out of these cops. These ****** did them some in Kabwe but fortunately he was a soldier and in the morning his friends come with 3 truckloads of real soldiers and beat the hell out these thieves.

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    • This should be about Justice not revenge as posters above are asking. The policemen and policewoman should be charged without wasting much time. The policewoman must have known the man was dead and just wanted the detainees to take the blame. An independent body to investigate such police crimes should be set up

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  2. They came for the socialists, i did not speak because i was not a socialist.

    They came for the jews i did not speak because i was not Jewish.

    They came for nevas mumba i did not speak because i was not opposition.

    They came for civil servants from Southwestern Zambia, i did not speak, because, am not from there.

    They came for mwaliteta, GBM, HH, mwiinde, mutambo, they shot mapenzi, stripped another lady, i still did not speak because they were upnd.

    Now they have come for me and i got no one to speak for me.

    Pforce has become so big headed,just like Hitler’s gestapo.

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    • Honorably and masterfully presented farewell recital. An invocation all peace loving, justice seeking Zambians sadly have to embrace. In his grotesquely agonising brote torture from deathly blows whose force reverbated beyond the walls and lies woodlands police walls,maybe abeacon of light will shine and a disciplined non criminal polce force will emerge. RIP

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  3. This story makes so sad to read. But it collaborates with many common stories of police brutality, unprofessional conduct and unabated corruption. My friend was locked up at for a simple traffic violation (talking on phone). He was shocked that when he said he had no cash to pay the fine he got locked up. The officers had colluded with inmates to squeeze, hit and humiliate my friend. He was not allowed to contact family or anyone else. Luckily we found out through a pastor who had gone to the cells for a service that afternoon. My friend told us that if he had spent a night in those cells he would be dead. The country is seriously declining in professionalism, esp in police service. Hon Kampyongo should get his act together. Security Officers have turned murderers. So sad.

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    • There you have, & said it, “Honourable Kampyongo”
      Chimp(yongo) is a Thug, hired by a fellow Thug Chagwa to keep you Zambians cowered, scared, & unable to challenge that thieving drunkard squatting in State House.
      Chimp(yongo) twice used Violence /Dangerous Terr0rist tactics, attempting to bring Helicopters carrying opposition leaders down.
      Any sane human being, with democratic values WOULD NEVER EVER appoint such Scum to head a Ministry responsible for law & order. Are Zambians not surprised that a repeat offender Thug like chi Ka1zer Zulu is still in the job of Political advisor??
      SO WHEN DOPEY ZAMBIANS SUPPORT SUCH LEADERS, THAT RELY ON ST0RM TROOPERS TO GOVERN THEM, THEY SHOULD NOT MOAN, WHEN THEIR RELATIVES GET BUTCHERED BY THE SAME SLUMDOG CHAWAMA LEADERS THEY’VE ELEVATED TO…

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  4. Many of us have suffered at the hands of Zambia Police, no two ways about, we’ve been humiliated..the statement of bringing in reinforcement to pin down one man is a confession that he was bruterlised, ba overzealous Zambia Police, called in to offer back up have never arrived in a diplomatic way..so sad that you have killed a fellow officer, now you shall dance Pelete for all the others who have died whilst in holding

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  5. Sad indeed, this country i really dont know were we going. Its God knows help us our good lord.

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  6. Time to start planning the disbanding of Zambia Police Service, and jailing all its top officers for anti-Zambians activities. They have been turned into a death squad. I suspect this has been due to their adopting typical militarization program where brute force is a way of life, and all logical crime investigation skills were trashed, all peaceful anti-riot methods were a trip to gun usage exercises! We must get to the root of this by investigating where things went wrong leading to this current anti-Zambian policing methods. Where are these fellows getting their training, which individuals have been their main training experts, and where are they coming from, what is their nationality, who funds these training programs, where are their tools being used in anti-Zambian activities…

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  7. This is ZAF that the police are dealing with here.
    The truth will come out sooner than later.

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  8. #BLACKLIVESMATTER even when the perpetrators are fellow black police officers
    Zambians this docility that you have embraced is very life threatening. According to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, you will become an extinct race given another 50 years. Wake up and take a leaf from Ferguson at least!

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  9. A young vibrant man who who knew very well has been taken from us too soon by lungus pf gestapo police. Lord what did we do to deserve a cursed government like pf. Please forgive us

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    • Sad development. Police always cover their friends ar.ses . The guy was drunk and was clobbered to a pulp first by ba kapokola then by the cell mates. . . .

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  10. ZAMBIA POLICE LISTEN CAREFULLY: You shall not murder any one or Thy shall not kill: Deuteronomy 5:V 17 even if you hide not with GOD: Go now to any Pastor of A Church or a Father of a Church and report yourself honestly then it shall be well with you. I am advising you from the Biblical point: Peace will only come to you when you repent and speak out – remember Abel and Cain what happened in the Genesis 4: 8 – 11

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  11. ABA BAFIKALA mwaipaya shani umwaice MWEMBWAMWE. ZAF must revenge unless you are also Bamumbwe.
    Police force fellows are useless and unnecessary in this country. No one in his or her right mind needs to respect this unreasonable wild animals. Their actions are wild and ressembles that of pigs

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  12. I think the best way forward in our society when such a thing happens is that the police should not rush into beating up a suspect detained in cells. No matter how unruly a suspect is, DO NOT beat them up or else these will always be the consequences. Always let the law take its course. The IG should issue such directives to his officers. Now imagine a car a scratched, just scratched. It will be taken to a garage and repaired and the same day it will come out. A life has been lost forever. A breadwinner with probably very young children is gone forever. That’s why they say in life there are two tragedies:ONE,we act without thinking and TWO, we think after acting.

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    • You took the words right out of my mind. Hon. Kampyongo should come out strongly and condemn the brutality exhibited by police officers country wide. This habit of asking detainees to beat an offender upon entry should not be allowed. Look at this tragedy now, it’s something that could have been avoided. The perpetrators of this horrible crime will know no peace. God is watching you.

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  13. Jail them please its too much the Police just don’t think starting with their Inspector General. To them nothing can be resolved without the use of violence. Time to overhaul the entire system and training before we lose more lives senselessly.

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    • Is there a new tribe in Zambia called upnd. If you have noticed no one had assumed his tribe apart from you as you cannot debate in a mature manner. I have always wondered how you people can actually know someone tribe by his name. Very weird way of thinking

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    • We are talking about police brutality, here is a p f ool who thinks through his mum’s butt hole. Your tribe my arse.

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    • When my dog barks at home, he makes more sense than you. Probably is even better looking than you as well, phucking !d!ot.

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    • Life first! What is wrong with this country life has become so cheap. What has a political party got to do this this young man?

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  14. Ba ZAF am sorry for the loss of your soldier and to the family my condolences..just a word of advise to the cops, that’s a military personnel you killed i wonder why you are jealous of the ZAF people. To ZAF please start sorting out these cops show them military is powerful than police who are just civilians like us..if I were a ZAF man I can send troops to Woodlands police and deal with them..ati road traffic accident let a posmoterm be done and prove the cause of his death and it should be done at mainasoko military hospital..show your worth ba ZAF

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  15. Ba ZAF are very weak . . . too much chimbwantu.
    I recall some years back, a drunk soldier was battered by John Howard police post cops, the soldiers organised an IFA truckload of soldiers, descended on the police post and gave a nice beating to all cops on duty or in sight . . . beat the sh.it out of the bunjus . . . .that’s what Woodlands Police Station needs. Send recruits and sort the P Force for 5 minutes and leave gnashing their teeth with broken limbs. . . . . .kikikikiki

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  16. This is a case of a leader who has balls but does not know how to use them or how they work that’s if the person is even aware they have them. Kaizer Zulu will get away with assaulting a police officer who was a lady and nothing will be done. This murder will be hidden from the general public by them falsifying documents which is the same case for Kaizer Zulu. Your leader has been held hostage by those he promised jobs during the campaign and afraid to hold them accountable because they will spill the beans. When someone cannot sleep well at night because of what they did in order to win the elections. Meanwhile it’s Zambian’s who are paying for one person’s greed and crimes leading to death or assault by those in power! You reap what you sow one way or another! Your time is coming!

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  17. Ba ZAF are very weak . . . too much chimbwantu.
    I recall some years back, a drunk soldier was battered and locked for the weekend by John Howard police post cops. Following Monday, reported for work late with bruises . . . .the soldiers organised an IFA truckload of soldiers, descended on the police post and gave a nice beating to all cops on duty or in sight . . . beat the sh!t out of the bujus . . . .that’s what Woodlands Police Station needs. Send recruits and sort the P Force for 5 minutes and leave them gnashing their teeth with broken limbs. . . . . .kikikikiki

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  18. I hope ZAF will act accordingly to bring justice to the murderers. Life must be preserved as property can be replaced. In this case, it wasn’t, It looks like the Police officers simply wanted to teach him a lesson because of him being a ZAF officer only. Since vehicles are insured they can be repaired or replaced. Therefore damage to a car cannot be the cause

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  19. May His Soul Rest In Everlasting Peace!
    This is how stu.pid/foo.lish even the ZP has become including their Commander Nelson Phiri. How can a Commander become the leader in covering up instead of disciplining his useless subordinates? Bring back death sentence and hang all of them!!

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  20. He sustained deadly injuries in the alleged car accident and was put in a police cell, eh? Life can never be replaced. A car is material no matter what make, can be replaced. Killing somebody over a car which was bought by public funds as well?! Simple issues dealt with in a savage way. Arrest and hang the 1d10ts involved. Mwalungu, twanaka!

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  21. The following things must happen immediately:
    1. Set up a coroner’s inquest
    2. get all the evidence fast before police pollutes it, as usual.
    3. Develop a curriculum for police which will be useful to society
    4. raise police entry qualifications from grade 12 failure to degree in policing from recognized college
    5. Change entire police leadership

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  22. Ninshi the Car he was driving… did it not have a number plate. there is no need to get physical bane,

    I will not get surprised if the soldiers retaliate,

    That man should be ashamed to even state that he was beaten by fellow inmates, coporal punishment under detention is a human right violation unless you say that as police you have no control of the cellls under your custody. Otherwise i can not personally buy that nonsense you are pedling. His blood is on your hands

    Military police should arrest all accused inmates and all officers involved-military tribunal, those that are found guilty should be subjected to firing squad.

    period

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    • This would be the only deterrent these savages at police stations would understand. Death by firing squad for causing death in police detention.

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  23. Very sad, may his soul rest in peace. But @ 1. two wrongs don’t make a right. But murderers should be punished.

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  24. Soldiers must not retaliate. What about the masses whose family members have been killed as a result of police brutality? What will happen if the masses retaliate. the police will simple be wiped out.

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  25. Nomba what happened to the “friendly forces” cooperation????

    Sad this happened to this young man so sad because I believe he was victimized!

    The civilian kopokolas suffer from inferiority complex when they are in the presence of Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and Zambian National Service Service !

    However there is need to come down to the truth of this whole incident! Let’s not raise tempers between Zambia Police and Zambia Defence Forces but still these cops should learn to respect life!

    So sad!!!!!

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    • You are right. The job of a police officer is to protect life but they are so immensed in their macho bullying attitude they think they should scare people. This scaring often goes out of hand and they end up killing people

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  26. Further to this all serving mid rank officers from Captain to Major should be observing their junior officers and instructions should be in place to see that recreational time is spent at Junior Officer’s Mess and not in bars! In my 11 years of service as an Officer I never once drank in a civilian bar! Not because I don’t drink alcohol but even drinking a soft drink I would rather do so in the company of my fellow soldiers! The mindset of Zambia Police is very antagonistic to Defence personnel! The ZP culture must be changed right at their training be it at Lillayi or Kamfinsa or where-ever these civilians train. And those making this a tribal issue please stop it! In the defence there are no tribes! You are one unit! Secondly the young officer should’ve been handed over to ZAF MPs…

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    • Ctn..secondly the young officer should’ve been handed over to ZAF Mps (Military Police). This habit of keeping military personnel in ciivilian custody is not right! We must revise the handling of such matters, we have abandoned the court martial system and yet all the defence arms have qualified lawyers from Unza! So sad! Can Kampyongo and Davis Chama please sit down and discuss how best defence personnel that breach civilian law should be handled, pass the ball to parliament then let’s change some of these old Laws because this is not the first case that has seen a defence member victimized by civiliian police there are many such cases!

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  27. We have made Police stupid because we willingly participate in bribing them all the time. Everybody knows we just give the police something and the issue ends there. They have become big-headed. They feel they can do anything they want. They enjoy humiliating citizens and now it is even murder. They have become a big danger to peace and security. They have to be stopped. Baya sana.

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  28. pf police cadres are really working hard.let them pay for what they have done ba chimbwi aba

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  29. WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY AS A NATION TO CLEAN UP THE POLICE.
    VERY VIVID, THE POLICE COMMIT CRIMINALITY; ROBBERY, CORRUPTION, ETC… AND WE ARE WATCHING.
    SOMETHING IS WRONG IN US.
    FORTUNATELY, THIS TIME ZAF HAS BEEN PUT TO TEST – CAN THEY STOP THIS NONSENSE.
    YOU ARE MANDATED TO PROTECT ZAMBIA, BOTH INSIDE ATTACKS AND OUTSIDE.

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    • I’m ready to help. Enough is enough. We are not free in our own country we are living in fear.

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  30. Condolences to the bereaved family. The Provincial Police Commissioner made his quick conclusion that the late was murdered by fellow in-mates. He also stated the jn-mates have been charged with murder. Are both statements not too quick before full investigations are made. A coroner inquiry is necessitated here.

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  31. woodlands police station should renamed after MARK CHOONGWA. it should be called ‘MARK CHOONGWA POLICE STATION’ police brutality

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  32. Usually the police and ZAF or Zambia Army have got biff,so we don’tbknow what transpired but ZP have come out devils to which i’m tempted to agree. Waiting for the new movie,ZAF versus ZP!

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  33. I suggest we disband the Police.Everyone here knows the killers are police.Everyone here has been to a Police Station and found them drunk.Everyone here has phoned police to be told no transport. Everyone here knows police are dangerous. Traffic Police are Predators looking for the smallest defect to extract money,should you decline you are detained. Zambia has become s failed state because of Zambia Police.The day cadres took command the day Zambia Police died. Now we guard ourselves, I can’t dream of phoning police when under attack… they’ve no transport or will be drunk…

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  34. Hi there ! A very sad story of this young professional man. Those who are responsible for this brutality should face the full force of the law. But then what worries me about my Zambian comrades is the tribal tone. regardless of what tribe you come from, what come first that you are all Zambians, just like win Namibia, we don’t worry whether you are Vamboe, Afrikaner, German or Tswana…we are all Namibians. in fact in Namibia if you try to reason based on ethnicity everyone will ignore and dispise you. Africans….stand up!

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  35. Hi there ! A very sad story of this young professional man. Those who are responsible for this brutality should face the full force of the law. But then what worries me about my Zambian comrades is the tribal tone. Regardless of what tribe you come from, what comes first is that you are all Zambians, just like we are all Namibians in our diversity. We don’t worry whether one is a Vamboe, Afrikaner, German or Tswana…we are all Namibians. in fact in Namibia if you try to reason based on ethnicity most people will ignore and dispise you. Namibians are very fond of Zambians particularly based on our history of struggle. Africans….stand up!

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