Abduction Of 13 Girls A Wake-up Call For Restoration Of Family Values And Police Capacity Building – MDC

Joyce Chembe Musenge Acting Secretary General Movement for Democratic Change MDC


Firstly, we wish to express our commendation on the successful rescue of the thirteen young ladies who were abducted and kept captive for periods as long as seven months in Lusaka, by men whose ill motive is yet to be ascertained. The young lady and young man who were at the centre of the rescue are the true hereos and must be recognized as such. Furthermore, the show of collaboration between alert members of the public and the Zambia Police Service cannot go unnoticed in this ordeal.

However, we take note of revelations by Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu yesterday, that nine nursing students among the abducted were thought to be in school by parents, while school authorities assumed they could have gone home.

The minister’s statement read in part that “Nine nursing students from a named University in Chilanga district were abducted from their boarding houses. This made it very difficult as parents thought their children were in school as well as authorities assuming that students could have gone home.” This in itself goes to show eroded family values in our communities, where constant communication in the interest of others’ daily welfare should have been everyone’s concern.

The abduction of the nine nursing students occured between 15th, August and 20th September, 2022 only to be rescued on 3rd October, 2022 in Lusaka’s Chalala area. The approximately two months of school authorities and respective families not reporting the missing individuals to relevant institutions is evidence of broken communication systems and family values of looking out for family and one another’s wellbeing.

The church, political and traditional leaders and the community at large needs to ensure that the country gets back to the basics of family values and being vigilant of everyone’s wellbeing on a daily basis. Neighbors also need to begin taking interest in unusual acting or sound in the community, as it is our belief victims could have been screaming for help but ignored. The nation needs to rebuild strong family values and friendship bonds that will be interested in the everyday welfare of others.

We are concerned that the investigative process by the police was prolonged before the thirteen ladies were rescued this week. This is because we are told, phone calls were made to some contacts of the victims from the same premises yet systems employed by ZICTA and police could not timely zero in on the suspects.

Both the police and ZICTA need capacity building in investigating cases of such nature which they described as alien to Zambia. It should not take over seven months to capture abductors who were keeping their victims in one location where demands of ransom were made.

Our concern as a party is that from the minister’s statement criminals can now easily impersonate police officers as two men in Makeni Simson area abducted one victim on the pretext that they were tracing a stolen phone, thereby coercing her to follow them to a police station which led to her disappearance.

We call upon the police to employ new tactics and identification measures so that more victims do not fall prey to criminals of similar or different nature. The security and safety of every citizen should be made paramount and it is the responsibility of the police command to ensure this. We also call upon the relevant authorities to ensure that the abductuctors who committed this heinous crime are severely punished to serve as an example to would be future offenders.

Joyce Chembe Musenge
Acting Secretary General
Movement for Democratic Change MDC


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