Police grill Bemba chief


POLICE yesterday summoned Chief Mukonge to record a statement in a matter under investigation, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has clarified.

“He was not arrested by the officers but are investigating a case where he (Chief Mukonge) is a witness; so they only wanted to record a statement from him”.

Mr Kanganja was responding to reports in some sections of the media that Chief Mukonge, who visited UPND vice president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) while in police custody in Lusaka recently, has been arrested on orders of the Government.

“They (police officers) made a mistake to call him, they were supposed to follow him to his palace because he is a chief. I have instructed them to apologize because it was not correct,” Mr Kanganja said.

The police chief said it was a lie that police had arrested a chief in Northern Province.

And the Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) has rubbished reports that President Edgar Lungu ordered the arrest of Chief Mukonge.

According to one of the senior chiefs in the BRE, who declined to be named, said the case arose out of Chief Mukonge after he was approached by one of his subjects who pretended to have lost a son and requested that the royal establishment permit him to take over his son’s property.

The chief explained to the Daily Nation that after a request from his subject, Chief Mukonge granted the man a go-ahead after signing documents to allow the man take over property which the man’s ‘‘dead’’ son allegedly owned.

“But after granting the man a go-ahead it was discovered that his son was actually not dead and the matter was reported to the police who then came to pick up Chief Mukonge and accused him of conniving with his subject to take over property of a man who was alive,” the chief narrated.

He said it was not true that President Lungu ordered the police to pick him up.

“You know this is an election year, so there is a lot of politicking during this period. It is not true that President Lungu is involved, those are lies.

‘‘Yes, he was picked up by the police in the morning but it has nothing to do with President Lungu. I am just from talking to him right now and he has explained everything to me,” the chief said.

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