In a shootout at Mindolo Dam area on February 24, 2023, Police in Kitwe gunned down two suspected criminals who were believed to be behind a series of aggravated robberies in Kitwe and Chingola districts. The two suspects were identified as Ernest Mashane, also known as Chaile, aged 37, and Fidelis Mwansa, popularly known as Shi Castrol, aged 31, both of Kamatipa area in Kitwe District.
Concerned members of the public spotted the two notorious suspects in Race Course township and apprehended them after a long chase. The police were alerted and arrested the suspects at around 3 pm. The suspects admitted to being behind the robberies and revealed that they had a pistol at their house in Kamatipa township. The police officers, with the help of the suspects, recovered the pistol and later learned that an AK-47 rifle was hidden in the bush in the Mindola Dam area.
During the recovery of the rifle, the suspects decided to run away from the police. Several warning shots were fired in the air in an attempt to stop them, but they continued to flee. Unfortunately, they sustained fatal gunshot wounds and were rushed to Kitwe Central Hospital, where they were pronounced dead upon arrival.
The police recovered one AK-47 rifle with six rounds of ammunition within the same area. Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Danny Mwale, confirmed the incident and urged members of the public to continue working with the police in the fight against crime.
“The police will not relent in the fight against crime, and we urge members of the public to continue working with us by reporting any suspicious activity or individuals in their communities,” he said.
The incident has received mixed reactions from members of the public, with some commending the police for their swift action, while others are concerned about the use of excessive force by the police. The police have assured the public that they will investigate the incident to determine whether the use of force was justified.
In the meantime, the bodies of the suspects have been taken to the mortuary, and investigations are ongoing.