NSHR Investigates Death of Trial-Awaiting Prisoner

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By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK A Zambian trial-awaiting prisoner at Katima Mulilo police holding cells died yesterday morning. The Namibian Society for Human Rights (NSHR) alleges that the prisoner, Chrispin Mukumbi, died after police officers refused to take him back to hospital to have a bullet removed which was lodged in his leg. Nampol arrested Mukumbi on two counts of theft and housebreaking, possession of an illegal firearm and illegal entry into the country. But Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu, said yesterday that Mukumbi was a sickly person and had been taken to hospital on October 25. When the police officers were doing the routine count on Monday morning, they found him dead, he said. Amulungu could not say what disease the deceased was suffering from but said he had a host of diseases because, according to a doctor’s report, he was treated for a swollen leg and chest pains. The Police spokesperson said he did not die as a result of the wound. Amulungu was also not sure where he was shot – here or in Zambia. NSHR Director said in a press statement yesterday that although members of the police had taken Mukumbi to hospital after he was shot, they subsequently declined or neglected to take Mukumbi to the hospital for further examination and the removal of the bullet in his leg. He said Mukumbi had complained to the police two week ago about being sick and that he needed medical attention but that police officers on duty allegedly refused to take him to the hospital. Mukumbi died yesterday in Cell 2 at the Katima Mulilo police station, said ya Nangoloh, adding that the trial-awaiting prisoner was accommodated in a cell meant for 10 detainees but which had at least 22 trial-awaiting prisoners. Amulungu could not confirm this, as he needed details from the Regional Commander in Caprivi. Quoting police sources, Ya Nangoloh said: “In addition to Mukumbi, Cell 2 contains several other sick trial-awaiting prisoners who also need urgent medical treatment but are denied this basic human right.” The NSHR called on the Police Inspector-General to investigate the charges of indiscipline and gross negligence against police officers who allegedly denied Mukumbi medical treatment and also called on an independent investigation into the actual cause and circumstances which might have contributed to Mukumbi’s death. *In other related news reports, Police have arrested two Zambian teenagers for raping minors. The police said yesterday in its daily crime bulletin that two girls aged 14 and 15 years were arrested for allegedly raping two five- and three-year-olds between 16h00 and 17h00 at Mabungo Village, in the Lusese area in Katima Mulilo. In Windhoek at Cool Car in Prosperita on Friday, a laptop computer valued at N$30ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 200 was allegedly stolen after the suspect gained entrance to the building. The police are still investigating the matter.