From The Achieves… First Published On 17th July, 2015

When Jerabos Dine With politicians

Zambia has indeed become a country without heroes. How can a well-known criminal by the name of Youngson be so glorified? Worse still even have his burial service conducted at a historical Nkana Stadium, pa Chilata, home of once biggest club? What message are we sending to our youngsters with this shameless and despicable conduct? That it’s fine to be a criminal? That it’s fine to terrorize people? That It’s fine to rape young girls? That It’s fine to be an outlaw

By Daimone Siulapwa

Introduction

It is claimed that, among the prominent people who attended the burial of one infamous Jerabo Youngson Kalobo, who was commonly referred to as Commander by his followers were Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili, Wusakile MP Richard Musukwa, Copperbelt Deputy Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga and Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe. Others were Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale, Kitwe-based councilors, businessmen and some leaders from the ruling Patriotic Front and marketeers from various markets across Kitwe.

Who was Youngson Kalobo?

According to the information we have gathered, Youngson Kalobo was a notorious Copper trade leader who led a powerful gang of black market copper traders infamously known as Jerabos.

The Jerabo crime family was formed by “Youngson” back in the 97’s and it was predominantly a Komboni gang the terrorized the people before it extended its activities to illegal copper trade. When the money got to youngson’s head, he started sending these barbarians to sort who ever was considered a threat to him. From school boy’s to business men like Galedu the owner of bakore who had his shop left in tartars, the list is endless.

Currently, the word Jerabo has actually become synonymous to any unruly person in kitwe and in the whole country as a whole.

In a letter ‘Was Youngson a hero or a copper thief” The authors writes, “Zambia has indeed become a country without heroes. How can a well-known criminal by the name of Youngson be so glorified?

Worse still even have his burial service conducted at a historical Nkana Stadium, pa Chilata, home of once biggest club? What message are we sending to our youngsters with this shameless and despicable conduct? That it’s fine to be a criminal? That it’s fine to terrorize people? That It’s fine to rape young girls? That It’s fine to be an outlaw”

Whichever way you look at it; the majority of Zambians have classified the late Youngson as a criminal who deserved to be in prison.

The story of Youngson is similar to that of the Jamaican drug dealer Christopher Coke. Coke who was branded one of the world’s ‘most dangerous drug dealers is serving a 23 years sentence in America for drug dealing and assault.

Like Youngson, Coke was well known in Jamaica as a businessman who promoted music shows and also kept a high public profile in the ghettos west of Kingston, reportedly handing out cash and school supplies to needy children.

Despite his murky business, he was also credited with helping to keep order by using his authority to punish thieves and other criminals in an area where the government has little presence.

Youngson who died recently at Progress Hospital after a short illness shot to prominence in Kitwe for his notorious activities in the trading of stolen copper on the Copperbelt.
The deceased, who fought to claim ownership of the Copper dumpsite popularly known as the Black mountain, was massively popular especially in death.
Despite his shady activities, Youngson was massively popular among politicians who used his popularity to mobilise cadres to champion political causes.

A Kitwe resident remarked, “I met Youngson on several occasions, he had his own ways but as usual he was able to get along with people, even the most difficult and feared. I watched rugby with him at diggers Nkana West on several
occasions. Though he never took beer himself, he bought beers for me and my mates.
He was a thug who was feared and revered by many. If you knew him personally, you would discover that he had a soft spot and was very kind. This made him very popular.”
And popular he was because when he died musicians, politicians, ordinary citizens and respectable people attended his funeral.

Muscian Macky 2 paid his last respects to his fellow Jerabo “Youngson Kalobo” and announced that he deserved National Mourning, what a joke?

“Kwachilafwaikwa fye Na National Mourning..Katushe Wemupondo Wandi.. Wali Baza Kale..” (They should have been National Mourning), Macky 2 is quoted to have said in ci-Bemba.
Macky 2, who was full of praise of Youngson, said the Jerabo inspired many as a leader and showed him and many others how to rise from nothing to a king.
Several other Copperbelt artists like King Dandy, Afunika and many others paid tribute to the late Jerabo.

Other reports suggest Youngson was not only a supporter of Copperbelt artists but welcomed a lot of musicians such as JK, Mampi and many others.
Recently a picture surfaced online showing Youngson holding Cleo at kitwe’s mine dump site known as the Black Mountain.

“RIP big hommie! “backbone ya Kitwe” bashi Sue aka Duxx aka Youngson Jeraboh!”, the Zambian rapper based in Namibia wrote on his facebook page.
Youngson, who got mentioned on songs by almost all copperbelt artists, died a few weeks ago after a short illness. Speculations are many as what might have killed him, others are saying he was poisoned as he become a threat to other big copper dealers, others are saying he was HIV positive and he neglated to take his medcation.

Like the incarcerated Jamaican drug dealer, he had sponsored a lot of music shows and musicians such as Macky 2 and King Daddy on the copperbelt and was famously one of the first people in Zambia to drive an H2 Hammer.
In 2009, it was rumored that Youngson threatened King Daddy for not mentioning him on his hit song Teti Munchinge.
Dandy then released another version where he mentioned Youngson and other Jerabo affiliates. Politicians in Kitwe also paid homage to the thug praising him as a good young person.

But as a paper that strives to promote sanity, we beg to disagree with those who are showering praises on a criminal who should have been jailed.
In our opinion, if anyone deserved a state funeral and was accorded such respect, it was Dr Manda (MHSRP). Dr Manda spent his entire life bettering the livies of many Zambians.
We would like to remind Zambians who have short memories that earlier, in 2011, Police in Kitwe had arrested Kalabo and other Jerabos when they attacked people attending a bridal shower.

The Jerabos stormed Kitwe Basic School where people were celebrating a kitchen party and caused chaos.
The gang also beat up those in attendance, broke presents and window-panes before fleeing the scene.
The gang fled away with some of the presents, including hand-bags and cell phones meant for the bride.
It is believed that one of the gang members was angered because the future bride refused to get married to him.

The then Copperbelt Police Chief Dr. Martin Malama described the action taken by the Jerabos as primitive and warned that they will not escape the wrath of the law.
And Minister of Home Affairs then Mkhondo Lungu also called for the immediate arrest of members of the gang who had unleashed a wave of terror on Kitwe residents.
Mr Lungu said in an interview from Lundazi then that the activities of the Jerabos must be stopped immediately.

“The Jerabos or whatever they call themselves must be arrested. We have a very efficient Copperbelt police commanding officer in the name of Dr Martin Malama, who is doing a good job. The activities of these men who disturbed a kitchen party in Kitwe must be stopped with immediate effect,” he said.

Mr Lungu condemned the gang for its bad behaviour, saying all law breakers must be arrested. He called on youths to desist from engaging in vices that can ruin their lives.
“Any person who engages in violence must be arrested. Violence is not good. This is why we are saying the Jerabos must be arrested and dealt with,” Mr Lungu said.

Speaking for the intimidated and silent masses who the Jerabos harassed under the leadership of Youngson, we feel the actions of the gang is unacceptable.
Thus unlike other Zambians we feel Youngson was a criminal who should not be celebrated in death.

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