Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has told Parliament yesterday that suspects in the alleged abduction of the two members of the Hatembo family in Kalomo district of Southern province were detained for over 48 hours by the Zambia Police.
Mr. Kampyongo explained to parliament that this was because the suspects were apprehended on different days following the significance of the offence, adding that some suspects went missing at the time of arrest.
He further explained to the house that the Zambia Police Service received a report of an alleged offense of abduction involving Pheluna and Milton Hatembo by a relative of Choma district.
“A relative of the victims reported the matter at Zambia Police Service headquarters in Lusaka. Considering the gravity of the offense, the Zambia police immediately instituted investigations and arrested the suspects on 23 March 2021,” he explained.
Mr. Kampyongo told parliament that the four accused suspects were formally apprehended by the police and charged with an offense of abduction, contrary to section 253 and 256 of the penal code Act cap 187 of the laws of Zambia.
He was responding to a question which was asked by Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu, who wanted to know why the Zambia police service wantonly detained Mr. Fines Malambo, Mr. Ackson Sejani, Mr. Javen Simooloka and Mr. Vincent Lilanda for over 30 days before taking them to court.
Mr. Kampyongo told parliament that the arrest of the suspects by the police was done within the confines of the laws in line with the constitutional Act number 87 of the Penal Code. The Act provides for the police to conduct investigations on any suspect.
“Section 56 states that a person who kidnaps or abducts with intent to cause that person to be secretly or wrongfully confined is guilty of a felony offense and imprisonment for seven years,” he said.
He further told parliament that on Thursday, April 22, 2021 the four accused persons were taken to court in Choma for plea and were released on bail.
The Minister told parliament that last year, one of the Hatembo family members complained to the police that a named politician fraudulently acquired their property on farm 1924 in Kalomo district.
Pheluna and Milton Hatembo disclosed that the family was allegedly battered by unknown people on 14th February 2021, a move that made the family to abandon their homes and seek refuge in a secure location as they fear their lives may be at risk.