Police officer denies causing ZAF officer’s death
By Staff Reporter
POLICE officer Veronica Lucy Shawa has told Lusaka High Court judge Mwila Kombe that her decision to detain ZAF officer Mark Choongwa led to his death as a result of what happened in the cells at Woodlands Police Station
Chief Inspector Shawa is jointly charged with manslaughter together with Mike Kapale, also a police officer, Lyton Mwale, a driver and James Ngulube, an archives officer.
Allegations are that the accused persons caused the death of Choongwa between March 17 and 18, 2017 but they pleaded not guilty.
However, after considering evidence before her, judge Kombe said the State had established a prima facie case against the accused and placed them on defence.
Defending herself, chief inspector Shawa explained that she detained Choongwa who was facing a traffic offence for disobeying orders.
She said Choongwa was also slapped with a charge of assaulting a police officer.
Chief inspector Shawa said her decision to detain him led to his death because investigations into his death revealed that other inmates allegedly beat him up in the cells.
She however, denied causing Choongwa’s death.
Chief inspector Shawa said she tried by all means to save Choongwa’s life by rushing him to the University Teaching Hospital.
The officer said she panicked when she was informed that Choongwa was unwell and needed help because it was her duty to save life.
She said evidence presented before court that Choongwa was dragged and pushed into the cells and landed on his head was not true.
Chief inspector Shawa said no one pushed or dragged Choongwa as he was left standing in the cells.