A man identified as Sebastian Shomooko of Namwala district has died in police custody after allegedly being beaten by officers.
The deceased died last week Wednesday at Namwala central police and his body was put to rest on Thursday.
Sources have told News Diggers! that police officers badly beat up Shamooko on Tuesday night after the deceased was engaged in a fight with his colleague.
“He was beaten by police. The scuffle started on Tuesday where he was getting river sand. The whole fight started between him (deceased) and another person and in the process, the other person called the police and the police came and started beating him up using paddling sticks. And yesterday when they were looking at the body, you could tell that this body was really beaten and there was even a deep cut on the head. After the police finished beating him up, he could not even walk. So they dragged him to the cells and when they threw him in police cells, he could not even speak. So he started groaning like the way people do when they are about to die. So those people who were in the cells started shouting saying ‘bwana, muntu wamene mwaleta uyu akufa’ (boss this person you have just brought is dying), until he stopped groaning. He actually died from the cells,” the source revealed.
The source said after realizing that the suspect had died, police took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
“Then those inmates started calling ‘bwana uyu muntu kuoneka afa’ (boss it seems this person has died) and that is when they opened and took him to the hospital. [When they got to the hospital] the nurse who they found there said ‘this person is dead, this is a B.I.D (brought in dead) but let me call a doctor to confirm that this is a B.I.D.’ and this is a man again just a few months ago had a disjointed jaw and I am told it’s the police who beat him up. He even ended up in UTH where they had to put metals on his jaws and even on the first incident there was nobody who was arrested and even on this incident no one has been arrested."
And the source said after the death, police deployed a number of police officer from Choma as they feared that people would protest.
“After his death, police brought in a lot of police officers from Choma because they thought people were going to riot but they were shocked [because] people just mourned without any protests. So you wonder what the police had against him,” narrated the source.
And when contacted for a comment, Southern Province Police Commissioner Diamond Likashi asked this reporter to get back to him later and never picked up calls thereafter.
“[I will tell you] later on. That is when I am coming from Livingstone. We had some meetings there. Maybe you can get to me later on. We were at the Commonwealth conference there,” said Likashi.