By Paul Shalala in Lusaka, Zambia
Zambian Police are puzzled at the sudden increase in the discovery of human body parts that have been found across the country recently. During an exclusive interview with The London Evening Post, the chief of Zambia’s Police Service Dr Solomon Jere said: ““This is a puzzle we need to solve. It’s like a mystery. We are amazed at the increase in cases of dismembered bodies we are picking up in Lusaka and Central Provinces.”
The Zambia Police Service (ZPS) suspects that the increase in the discovery of dismembered bodies across the country could be linked to ritual killings or trade in human parts. In the past three months, dismembered bodies have been surfacing across the country, leaving Zambians puzzled as to whether they are part of a new culture of rituals or they are part of a criminal trade in human parts.
Last week, a 19 year old student in Lusaka was murdered and her dismembered body was discovered without some body parts and her facial skin. A week earlier, a 70 year old man in the western town of Sesheke had been murdered by unknown people and his attackers went away with his nipples, while in the central town of Kabwe, several people have been attacked by people who chop off hands and legs and leave their victims for dead.
And in another case which has shocked the nation, last month the ZPS arrested a man from Kabwe Town in Central Zambia who was in the process of selling his four children at the cost of US$58,000. The man was arrested after undercover police officers posed as Satanists who wanted to buy his children who are aged between three and 21.
Saying that recent the recent increase in suspected ritual killings had left the Police command shocked, Commissioner Jere said he suspected that this practice could be linked to people involved in Satanism or business. “We suspect that some of these new churches being formed are involved in these killings because we have information that some people are being sacrificed in churches. We are on the lookout for these killers and very soon we will arrest them so that we bring this evil act to the end,” said Dr Jere.
Last week, police investigating the brutal murder of the 19 year old student, Ruth Mbandu, whose body was found dismembered, arrested Kalumba Mbandu the deceased’s uncle as well as Bishop Evans Ngulube and his driver Stanley Munkonji, both of Mount Zion Church in Lusaka who are suspected to have been involved in her death. The trio has since been charged with murder in a case which has attracted a lot of interest from campaigners for the death penalty and organizations championing women’s rights.
Last week we carried an article in which 11 members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists discovered how millions of dollars were being made by unscrupulous businessmen trading in human body parts. The journalists found that dead Ukrainians were taken to a factory in Germany that made profits by turning mortal remains into everything from dental implants to bladder slings to wrinkle cures. Whether the body parts now turning up all over the place here in Zambia are also destined for the same fate is one of the links that Zambian police might want to investigate.