ZAMBIA woke up on Saturday morning 6th May, 2017 to news that opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Chilanga Member of Parliament Keith Akekelwa Mukata also a former Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry and Deputy minister of Justice had been detained by police after a shooting incident at his law firm in which a male security guard Namakau Kalila Kwenda aged 63 years old an employee of ‘Men in Black’ Security company and a resident of Ng’ombe compound in Lusaka had tragically lost his life.
Breaking News stories including that of this publication had reported that Mr. Mukata who is also a lawyer apart from being a legislator had shot and killed a security guard at his law firm early on Saturday morning.
The legislator was reported to have been in the company of an unidentified female companion at the centre of the shooting drama variously reported to have been a girlfriend with whom he had had an altercation just prior to the shooting.
OFFICIAL POLICE STATEMENT
After the breaking of this story, Zambia Police Service Spokesperson Mrs Esther Mwaata Katongo issued an official statement and confirmed the arrest of the lawmaker saying Police on Saturday morning received a report of murder which occurred at around 00:40 hours at house number 4 Alex Masala close in Rhodes Park in which a male Namakau Kalila Kwenda aged 63 years old of Ngombe, a security guard employed by Men in Black security company and deployed at house number 4 Alex Masala Close in Rhodes Park which is the office of AKM Legal Practitioners , the law firm of Keith Akekelwa Mukata had been shot dead.
The Police statement says that around 00:40 hours, patrons at Spice Restaurant which is next to AKM Legal Practitioners heard some gun shots from the premises of AKM Legal Practitioners and when they went out they shortly heard Honourable Keith Mukata shouting for help that someone has been shot and that the assailants had run away.
According to the statement the patrons became suspicious and called the police.
Upon arrival at the scene the statement says, officers found the deceased lying in the corner of the yard just next to the gate.
The premises was searched and one empty cartridge was picked from the scene and one pistol with 6 rounds of ammunition, of which one was in the chamber while five were in the magazine which was found in a basket which was put in the boot of the motor vehicle BMW registration number BCA 7262 Charcoal Grey in colour.
“The pistol and empty cartridge have been picked for forensic examination and body of the deceased has been taken to UTH Mortuary awaiting postmoterm.
“Hon. Keith Akekelwa Mukata aged 45 years old of Kasupe in Lusaka West who is area member of parliament for Chilanga Constituency and his wife female Charmine Musonda Mukata aged 37 years old have been detained in custody for Murder.” Mrs Katongo said in the statement.
WHAT WE KNOW
Without prejudice to the official Police investigations surrounding the actual act and motive for the tragic shooting, ZAMBIAN OBSERVER has noted some inconsistencies in the police statement beginning with the age of the Member of Parliament. Mr. Mukata’s date of birth is officially listed as 5th September 1971 making him 46-years-old and not 45-years-old as reported by police.
His marital status as reported by police concerning his common law wife is also inconsistent with the facts.
Mr. Mukata is married to Marico Mukata with whom he has two children having divorced his first common law wife Gertrude Musyani Mukata, in 2011 on the grounds that their marriage had broken down irretrievably.
Charmaine Musonda Mukata whom the police have identified as the woman with whom he was arrested for the alleged murder is not his common law wife.
SO WHO IS CHARMAINE MUSONDA?
ZAMBIAN OBSERVER has been able to substantiate information through its investigations that Charmaine Musonda aka Charmaine Mehl is the legislator’s girlfriend. Ms. Musonda / Mehl currently resident of Lusaka’s Mass Media Complex area has never been married to the legislator but was Chilanga Constituency aspiring mayor in the last elections. She is a mother of two from a well known Lusaka businessman [name withheld].
Given the facts, it makes sense that the scene of the tragedy was outside the legislator’s Kasupe home, as clearly, the couple do not live together.
MOTIVE REMAINS A MYSTERY
The shock value of the story apart from the tragedy of the loss of life is that the legislator has had no known violent streak nor loss of wits having recently stood on principle and ignored a party whip of his opposition party in parliament that saw his entire parliamentary party defy parliamentary decorum by boycotting a national assembly address by the Republican President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
“As an MP for Chilanga, I owe it to my people, to represent their local interests, review legislation on their behalf, attend debates/committees and generally promote and advocate their interests at a national level that is why I was elected.
“I am therefore not apologetic for staying back and listen to what President Chagwa had to say with regards to issues that affect my country, our country.” He had said.
Mukata a lawyer by profession had quit his position as deputy minister under President Edgar Lungu prior to the last elections and defected from the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) to join the United Party for National Development (UPND) on whose ticket he contested and won the Chilanga seat.
The initial report of an altercation that led to threats using the firearm seem more plausible given that the firearm was discharged in the heat of emotions and that the late security guard found himself in the middle of a lover’s quarrel and paid the price.
It seems clear that an initial story of an intruder shooting dead the guard has not been bought by the police hence the murder charge after discovery of the concealed firearm and spent cartridge of the same calibre. The act of concealment and initial implausible statement by the couple seems clearly to point to an act of passion gone wrong after reportedly having been under the influence of alcohol.