By CLAVER MUTINTA
A MOTHER and her baby have been burnt to death in Kafue’s Chanyanya after their grass-thatched house caught fire in the early hours of yesterday.
The victims have been identified as Tridah Nkotani, 23, an employee of Kafue Sugar, and her two-year-old son, Hsani. Police suspect foul play.
The bodies were buried at Chanyanya cemetery as soon as they were retrieved from the debris. They were burnt beyond recognition.
Lusaka Province commissioner of police Joyce Kasosa and Kafue district commissioner Grace Ngulube confirmed the incident in separate interviews yesterday.
Ms Kasosa said the incident happened at Chikusu village. No suspects have been arrested yet as investigations continue.
“Investigations are going on and we hope members of the public can assist us with leads to get the culprits behind this incident,” she said.
Meanwhile Ms Ngulube, who accompanied police officers to the scene of the incident, said local people, including traditional leaders suspect foul play as the main door was tied with a wire from outside.
“Everyone, including myself, suspects that the mother was murdered inside the house and the assailants tied the door with a wire.
“The body of her son was found near the door, indicating that the child was trying to get out of the house but the door was tied with a wire from outside,” she said.
Ms Ngulube said when she got to the scene around 05:00 hours in the company of police officers, she found some people battling to quench the fire using buckets of water but to no avail.
She said fire incidents and murders in Chanyanya are prevalent and called on the police to thoroughly investigate such occurrences.
“People are killing each other here [Chanyanya]… this is the fourth incident since I became district commissioner. We need to investigate this matter and get to know who is behind this,” she said.
Ms Ngulube said it was sad to lose lives under such circumstances and advised members of the public to report any suspicious-looking people to the police.
Meanwhile, MUBANGA NONDO reports that a 43-year-old police officer of Ndola has been crushed to death by a train after he was allegedly suffered an epileptic seizure while crossing the railway line.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Mary Tembo said in an interview in Ndola yesterday that the incident happened around 19:00 hours near the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) depot.
Ms Tembo identified the officer as Christopher Kahangu of house number D1 FRA police compound in Ndola.
“Mr Kahangu was an epilepsy patient and we suspect that he might have been attacked by epileptic seizures as he was trying to cross the railway line. He was carrying a bag of groceries,” Ms Tembo said.
She said Mr Kahangu was operating from the police protection unit at the FRA depot in the Ndola’s industrial area.
“It is sad that Mr Kahangu died just a few metres away from his house near the FRA depot where he was working. He was almost home when the accident happened,” Ms Tembo said.