Zambian Police Officer Charged With Killing Protesters

PHOTO USED TO DEPICT THE STORY: Demonstrators marching towards the South African Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia on September 4, 2019, to protest against the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in the Rainbow Nation are blocked by Zambian general Police inspector Kakoma Kanganja and his police team. SALIM DAWOOD / AFP

 

Zambian police on Wednesday said they had arrested an officer on murder charges over the deadly shooting of two anti-government protesters in December.

Fanwell Nyundu, 25, is accused of killing the duo as they demonstrated outside a police station where opposition party leader Hakainde Hichilema was being questioned.

“The suspect is in police custody and yet to appear in court,” police spokeswoman Esther Katongo said in a statement.

Nyundu faces two counts of murder.

Hichilema, known to his supporters by his initials HH, is President Edgar Lungu’s main contender in elections due in August.

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He was summoned by police on December 23, 2020, for questioning about a property purchase he made 20 years ago.

Several hundred supporters, including the two victims, milled outside the police station in the capital Lusaka to show their support.

The two men were killed when riot police were sent to break up the protest. Their blood-stained bodies were found lying on the ground after the demonstrators fled.

Police issued a statement shortly after the incident saying the men were reportedly killed by gunfire after tear gas was used to disperse an “unruly” crowd.

Hichilema, however, said it was hit job by “snipers”.

The 58-year-old veteran campaigner and self-made entrepreneur have made five bids for the presidency between 2006 and 2016.

He spent four months in jail after contesting his last defeat in 2016.

AFP

Fire Kills At Least 23 Prisoners In Ethiopia

Fire, Prisoners, EthiopiaAn inferno has killed at least 23 inmates at a prison in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian authorities said the fire broke out where the anti-government protests were purportedly being held.

A government statement revealed that 21 died of suffocation after a stampede while two others were killed as they tried to escape.

However, BBC said some local media disputed the account, citing unnamed witnesses who say the inmates were shot by the wardens.

The fire incident follows an alleged killing of almost 100 persons by security forces in protests across Ethiopia’s central Oromia region.

The demonstration was linked to an aborted government attempt to commandeer local land.

Police purportedly fired tear gas and blocked roads to several towns in the vast region as protests erupted after a call from a spontaneous social media movement.