Nearly 64 Zambia National Service (ZNS) newly graduated recruits who went on a rampage raping and assaulting women have been arrested in Kabwe.
The recruits who had just graduated in a ceremony presided over by Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba went drinking to celebrate and then started making unsolicited advances to women in town.
Trouble started when some of the women complained to the Police who then confronted the recruits. The situation became riotous as some of the recruits boasted of having received more superior military training to the Police- an assertion which worsened the situation.
Police bundled all the offending recruits and deposited them in various police in Kabwe pending the final processing of the cases for criminal prosecution.
Arrangements are now being made for court appearances to facilitate bail after police have completed initial investigation including identification of the culprits by complainants, especially those that were raped.
It is not clear yet if the Police will surrender the matter to military discipline although complainants feel that since the offences were committed outside the barracks the individuals must face civilian discipline.
About 623 recruits passed out after undergoing military training at the ZNS training school in Kabwe.