HELL ON EARTH: The story of Pamela and 12 others
IT has turned out that the two captured abductors of more than a dozen young women are aged only 22.
In about mid-April this year, Pamela Chisumpa, aged 22, who was working at a mobile money booth in Lusaka’s central business district, went missing, while at work, in a case that left many people with every feeling – fear, shock, pain, worry, confusion and name it.
Since then, the public remained alarmed, especially that there were other reports, with faint details, indicating that other young people were being targeted for abduction.
Police instituted investigations into the abduction of Pamela but May, June, July, August and September came and went without any intelligent investigative response in sight.
As if to buttress police investigations into the matter, some social media users offered ‘strategies’ which they thought could be employed to track the whereabouts of Pamela, but to no avail.
Some people simply thought the young lady was long killed by her stone-hearted captors.
In the meantime, police intermittently indicated that investigations into the disappearance of Pamela were ongoing but the matter, it seems, was losing taste.
Passage of time had certainly begun to eat into many people’s memories of Pamela’s sad story, let alone her old beautiful picture she posed in a sleeveless knee-long dress.
That cheery picture of hers that trended when she just got abducted!
But when everyone was gnashing their teeth to contribute, as usual, to every trending story of the day or week on social media – probably the Chile One/Yo Maps shadow contest of popularity – something least expected, but big, sprung up.
On a scorching afternoon yesterday, October 3, 2022, upon being alerted by members of the public, police officers, led by their inspector general Lemmy Kajoba, drove to a house in Chalala, an affluent but unplanned suburb in Lusaka.
The alert was that there was an urgent distress call of help from a young lady, later to be known as Agness Kapwaya, who jumped over a perimeter wall fence, to spread news, to whoever, about her and colleagues’ confinement in a house.
Neighbours to that house rushed to rescue the captives and, outrageously enough, the victims were many for any kind soul – 13 of them.
A coffin was also found in the house where the ladies were held hostage – God knows for how long.
As at yesterday, police apprehended one suspect, in connection with the jaw-dropping abduction matter.
The police later ‘advertised’ Mathews Sikaonga and James Mulenga Bwalya as wanted persons, in connection to the abduction of the 13 young women.
When everyone was in deep sleep at about 02:36 hours today, police waylaid the fugitive duo of Mathews Sikaonga and James Mulenga Bwalya, in Nkeyema district, Western Province.
“Two of the suspects wanted in the case where thirteen ladies were held captive in a house in Chalala of Lusaka have been apprehended today the 4th October, 2022 at 02:36 hours in TBZ of Kaoma after a tip-off from members of the public,” said Zambia Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga, in a statement today.
“The two suspects are Mathews Sikaonga and James Mulenga Bwalya, both aged 22 of Chalala area in Lusaka. Police investigations are on-going.”
For now, social media is awash with intellectual and flippant opinions about what has to be done in this soul-numbing, unheard of story of abduction.
Three suspected tormentors are currently held by police while the victims, Pamela, Paxina Chanda, 22, Grace Siabeula, 22, Felistus Hachintu, 18, Ruth Banda, 21, Nalukui Machwani, 21, Agness Kapwaya, 21, Dorcas Chungwe, 24, Priscilla Mapulanga, 23, Honester Lungu, 25, Rosemary Chibwe, 25, Faith Muluti, 28, an unnamed 17 year old are reminiscing about the probably worse than hell place they were in Chalala.