GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA writes @SunZambian
A family has sued the State seeking compensation over the death of a Grade 10 pupil alleged to have been killed by Police last year. Mr Obby Kanjela suing as next friend of the minor claims Kozhi Kaleji who was a pupil at Zambezi Day Secondary School of North Western Province died instantly when an unidentified police officer opened fire at a crowd escorting an alleged thief to the Police Station.
The family is claiming damages for pain and suffering caused by the permanent deprivation of life by the negligent and reckless killing of an innocent minor by the State agents on February 26, 2020. They are also seeking damages for loss of expectation of life, pecuniary damages for loss of prospective future earnings to be assessed by the court, punitive damages to be assessed by the court and interest on the amount found due.
Mr Kanjela has cited the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka as the defendant in the matter. According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Mr Kanjela stated that on the fateful day at about 21:30 hours at Zambezi Boma, there was a rowdy crowd of villagers from Mushona village who were taking an alleged thief of a goat to the Police Station within the Boma . He said the crowd’s intention was to hand over the thief to the Police in order for her to be arrested for theft of livestock.
Mr Kanjela stated that Kaleji who was a by stander at a Shop where they were watching an English Premier league out of curiosity joined the peaceful procession as they preceded to the Police Station. “At approximately 50 meters from the Police Station and in an unprovoked situation and in an attempt to deter the apparent peaceful procession from reaching the Police Station, an unidentified officer of the Zambia Police opened fire and discharged live bullets into the crowd,” he said “The crowd fled the scene at the sound of the gun fire including the late Kaleji. Unfortunately one bullet caught the deceased Kaleji in the back and killed him instantly,” he added.
Mr Kanjela stated that Kaleji had an entry wound on the right side of the back adjacent to the vertebral column and there was no exit wound. He said that the postmortem examination was conducted on March 3, 2020 at Zambezi District hospital mortuary and a bullet which had lodged in his chest was retrieved from the body.
“A postmortem report of 23rd may 2020 ascertained that the immediate cause of death was the fatal injury of the ascending Aorta as a result of the gunshot wound and the manner of death was homicide,” he stated.