Chipimo calls on President Lungu to get involved Vespers Shimunzhila case
National Restoration Party President Elias Chipomo has written to President Edgar Lungu requesting that he gets involved in the matter involving the death of Vespers Shimunzhila, a fourth year student at the University of Zambia who died due to suffocation a month ago.
Mr. Chipimo said President Lungu’s status does not only confer privilege but it confers responsibility and with the power at his disposal, he can order an independent investigation as well as an independent inquiry under the Inquiries Act that the public releases the coroner’s report into the cause of Vespers’ death.
In a letter made available to the media, Mr. Chipimo said the President can also ensure that the police investigation of this matter will not be a coverup by facilitating the engagement of an independent investigation team that could include one or more local and foreign experts with proven integrity.
Mr. Chipimo said the President can also assure Vespers’ family and the nation that no stone will be left unturned in getting to the truth of what transpired on that fateful night.
Below is the Full Letter
Greetings President Lungu
Justice for Vespers Shimunzhila
It is now more than a month since Vespers Shimunzhila’s life was so cruelly taken away by the hand of a man who may well be a father himself and who ,as an ordinary Zambian,must surely know what it means to lose a loved one.I doubt there is any Zambian that has not experienced painful loss and bereavement,yourself included.
The author and speaker, Simon Sinek says leadership boils down to two things: empathy and perspective.Perhaps you do not understand the outrage and outpouring of grief over the death of an innocent young girl in her prime because she was not your daughter.I can tell you,however,that as a leader,this is exactly how you should consider this matter. To do so,you need to ask yourself some hard questions.
1.If Vespers was your very own daughter how would you feel about the way she died?
2. What would you do?
3. What Justice would you want to see done?
4.Would you wish this situation on anyone else?
A person with even an ounce of humanity would not let a matter like this rest if they had the power to prevent it from happening again. This is the power you have Mr.President. Your status does not only confer privilege,it confers responsibility.With the power at your disposal you can order an independent investigation as well as an independent inquiry under the Inquiries Act: you can order the public release of the coroners report into the cause of Vespers death: you can ensure that the police investigation of this matter will not be a cover up by facilitating the engagement of an independent investigation team that could include one or more local and foreign experts with proven integrity: you can assure Vespers family and the nation that no stone will be left unturned in getting to the truth of what transpired on that fateful night: you can assure the nation that there will be no scared cows when it comes to identifying who was ultimately responsible for giving the order to fire teargas canisters into student hostels.
In addition,Mr.President you can convene a meeting of all stakeholders (representatives of public motorists,students ,police local council,business houses ,members of parliament and councillors) to determine the best options for ensuring that an incident like this never happens again and to mount a public campaign of support for an end to student riots that damage other peoples’s property and the police brutality that has tended to accompany it.There can be no doubt that it was wrong for a handful of students to take to the streets in the early hours of the morning and damage private property. It was equally wrong for the police to respond with brutality.particularly by firing teargas canisters into the room of sleeping female students that played no part in any of the disturbances.You can also offer your deepest and most sincere condolences and apology to Vespers family and to the nation for not having acted sooner and more decisively in this matter,after all the Bible says ” The end of a matter is better than its beginning.”(Ecclesiastes 7:8)
In this instance, it is not what you haven’t done that will count when people assess your leadership Mr.President,but what you chose to do when you finally realised what you ought to have done in the first place.The Bible also says:”He then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it.” (James 4:17)
Mr.President,I urge you to do the good you ought to do and deliver justice for Vespers.That precious young soul may no longer be with us but it is not too late for you to do the right thing.
Elias C. Chipimo
National Restoration Party (NAREP)
Source: Lusaka Times