Monday, February 26, 2024

Seeking Answers: Accountability in Zambia’s Gassing Saga

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By Mischeck Kakonde

Zambia’s recent history has been shrouded in a convoluted narrative, a tale woven with elements of
evasive justice, political intricacies, and a labyrinth of unanswered questions. The exoneration of a former presidential advisor Dr Zimba and other implicated individuals, accused in the tragic loss of over 50 lives due to alleged gassing incidents, lays bare the unsettling shadows haunting the nations collective conscience.

The nation bore witness to a saga echoing through its political corridors, leaving citizens perplexed and disheartened. The arrest of the ex-political advisor, purportedly tied to the chaotic gas attacks, carried the weight of governmental assertions and vows of retribution.
However, the passage of time and legal procedures unfurled a different narrative, casting doubt on the allegations against the once-incarcerated political figure. With the acquittal of Dr Zumani Zimba and others accused, a glaring void in accountability emerges, prompting the pressing question: who is genuinely accountable for the tragic gassing incidents that claimed innocent Zambian lives?

The imperative need for truth resonates strongly among the Zambian populace.
The government, swift in leveling accusations, now stands on the brink of accountability. The same
authority that implicated Dr. Zumani Zimba in these serious acts must step into the realm of truth. Zambian citizens, grappling with the aftermath of these harrowing events, demand more than superficial political statements or attempts to placate public sentiment. They clamor for transparency, accountability, and the unmasking of those responsible for these grave state crimes.
Moreover, the revelation that over 50 lives were lost during the gassing episodes demands more than mere acknowledgment. Families shattered by irreparable loss seek not only closure but rightful justice. Hence, the question arises: will the Zambian Attorney General heed the calls for reparation, ensuring that those affected find solace within a justice system that upholds fairness and sanctity? Compensation for the bereaved families, if proven, is a necessity.

Restoring faith in governance and the rule of law necessitates truth, closure, and accountability. Hence, I advocate for an immediate commission of inquiry into this transgression against the Zambian people.Politicians must not merely play to the gallery; the truth regarding the matter, including the names and burial details of the deceased, must be unveiled through this inquiry.
Furthermore, unveiling the names of the victims symbolizes acknowledgment, honoring their memory and reaffirming the pledge to never forget. It should serve as a significant stride towards healing the wounds inflicted on the nation and commemorating those who were tragically taken.

The author is a legal scholar, comparative politics specialist, History and Cultural Studies, expertise in international relations, negotiation, and protocol (ZIDIS). Author of the book “peering into Zambian Cultures, Ceremonies; and contributor in the book “Young Zambia between poverty and abundant resources”. Email: [email protected]

17 COMMENTS

  1. This is the past and should have been investigated thoroughly at the time but wasnt
    the reasons are obvious … its going nowhere through lack of will and capacity
    so lets move on

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    • One Tayali was very vocal about this and mentioned master-minders. He was called to the palace and handsomely paid to keep quiet. He has since joined the praise singing group and enjoying the money.

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    • I remember one innocent person stoned to death by an agree mob after being falsely accused of being a gasser. Where is the justice!!

  2. The Police know who were behind the gassing project but are unable to come out in the open because their work has been interfered with. Zumani was arrested shortly after he wrote an article that was critical of Hichilema and his government. We knew that the case wasn’t going anywhere because it was just a ploy to silence him. Just like the Ruth Mbandu murder, the Police know who was behind it. Solomon Jere used to give daily coordinated updates until he was promoted to the position of Deputy Inspector of Police and suddenly updates became uncoordinated. From then we knew that the case wasn’t going anywhere. I hope that a day will come when ZP will tell politicians to f.ck off and leave them to do their job professionally.

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    • The police were involved but not on behalf of government. They did this to cause terror among the population and tarnish the name of the then sitting government. The current government knows exactly who was involved and to absolve themselves they have made feeble attempts to implicate the previous government. It has failed to work. Like the Gabon disaster we shall never know the truth.

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    • You are naive…. one thing you are good at is to defend the Upnd at all costs. I wonder how much you’re being paid to waste your time on a failed project.

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  3. This govt promised to find the gassers. To-date they only implicated an innocent Zumani. He has since been acquitted. Can Jack Mwiimbu please brief the nation on this. This is a matter of urgent public importance. Even a ministerial statement in parliament.

  4. Mr. President HH……YOU promised to find the gassers. Two years now we have no answers.
    Where m should we go for answers?

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    • With the current corruption and lack of Professionalism in the entire police force
      its going nowhere
      and for those who think they know best we inherited this and so we will pass in on the the next administration whenever that is
      The only destruction force we have is CORRUPTION

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    • @Tikki come on man! Corruption in the new dawn government? Unbelievable! The swamp was drained of all PF civil servants in departments. So where is this corruption coming from? Are you real?

  5. @deja Vu
    The corruption swamp will never be drained only the top tier
    leaving the other 90% still in offices.. and so it will continue with all administrations to come
    How many times have you reported something ??
    Stop maqking out it is solely a upnd brain child

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    • Which top is clean? Milupi and Musokotwane were mentioned in some deal. They threatened the whistleblower, the president rebuked him…. results? Zero. ACC are quiet. All these transactions will become public just like Malanji and Co are being exposed.

  6. When is the gvt going to compensate the families of the victims who lost their relatives due to stoning and been burned alive on false accusations of being gassers. If one can be compensated for gun trauma ,imagine the trauma of close family members who lost their loved ones .

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