THE plot thickened in the Ruth Mbandu murder yesterday when police in Lusaka confirmed recording warn-and-caution statements from Lusaka businessman Dick Masebo and his mother Mercy Namonje. The statements were recorded from the duo at Emmasdale Police Station, according to Lusaka Province police chief Solomon Jere who declined to give further details as the probe continues.
Dr Jere said an undisclosed number of members of Mr Masebo’s family have been questioned and released. The police chief said after interrogations, “Mr Masebo and the rest of the family are free…it is not true that we detained them. We recorded warn-and-caution statements from them and they left.” Mr Masebo and his mother are expected to report back to police sometime this week as police close in on the suspects, according to Dr Jere. Dr Jere said the police, “will not rest” until all the missing pieces to the puzzle fit and individuals involved in Ruth’s murder are booked. Ruth’s murder has sucked in the most unlikely people with police recently recording a warn-and-caution statement from the dead girl’s mother, Victoria.
The former NIPA student was murdered on July 13 under unclear circumstances that has led police to arrest five people, including the deceased’s uncle and a lay preacher to help with investigations. Three of them have already been charged with murder, pending court appearance as soon as the police consolidate their case. Meanwhile, Matero member of Parliament Miles Sampa said his pledge for information leading to the arrest of people involved in the murder of Ruth remains valid. Mr Sampa said the pledge which now stands at K29.5 million will be given to an individual or group of people who will have assisted with police investigations in the murder case. He said in a separate interview in Lusaka yesterday that he is awaiting information from Dr Jere regarding the people who have so far helped police with investigations in the murder case.
“I’m just waiting for a report from the police regarding the informers,” Mr Sampa said, “I expect to receive this information this week as Dr Jere assured me that police have intensified investigations and are closing in on the puzzle.”
Conversely, Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu has warned “criminal” elements that his ministry is intensifying efforts to curb any crime so that Zambia can maintain its good name as a safe international destination and safe home for citizens. “We shall not spare any criminal elements. We shall hunt them down to their lairs,” Mr Lungu said.
Dick Masebo is Ex. husband to Tourism Minister Sylva Masebo.