One inmate from Luanshya correctional facility died on the spot while 38 others are nursing serious injuries after the truck, they were traveling in overturned 3 times owing to a tyre burst.
The Mitsubishi Sportero property of Zambia Correctional Services of Luanshya was driven by Warder Misheck Masengu (26) of Luanshya who sustained head injuries.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga says the accident happened on Saturday around 17 hours near Chilubili area in Mpongwe when the inmates were being ferried from Kanyenda area in Mpongwe where they had gone to work.
“On board were 38 prisoners of which one died upon arrival at Ibenga Hospital, one escaped unhurt , 12 inmates were evacuated to Ibenga clinic while 24 others were taken to Ndola Teaching Hospital.One inmates escaped unhurt.
Two other Prison wardens on board also sustained injuries and are both admitted to Ibenga Mission Hospital.
Ms Katongo said the total number of people on board was 41.And Mrs. Katanga promised to give a detailed report today because the doctors were still monitoring the condition of all the inmates.
Social media is rife with questions as to how a Mistubishi sportero can carry 41 passengers.
A former prisoner, Mr. Mwaba narrated how trucks carrying prisoners are often driven at high speeds to prevent prisoners from jumping out of the truck.
He lamented at how prisoners are dehumanized in Zambia. “We were carried like DOGS and they don’t care whether we die or not,”he said.
He appealed to the government to decongest prisons and put up more courts to finish up cases for accused persons in remand prisons quickly to avoid such cases of fatal accidents emanating from transferring inmates from distant prisons to courts in Lusaka.
“My life after prison has been that of trying to tell society that we can all be victims of imprisonment because we break the law sometimes accidentally, and some times we are wrongly accused or at times fail to hire a lawyer in a case.We must treat prisoners with respect,”Mr.Mwaba said.