Need to explore forensic science in Zambia
Published On January 14, 2017 » 3493 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Features
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The way I see itTHEODORE Robert Bundy, an American serial killer, kidnapper, rapist and burglar, was estimated to have murdered 30-plus people and the police had little physical evidence to connect him to the crimes when he was arrested in 1975.
He assaulted and murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s.
After being convicted only of kidnapping, Bundy was about to stand trial for murder in Colorado but escaped and headed to Florida.
It is while there that he killed three more people early in 1978, and when he was finally captured in February of that year, the most crucial physical evidence in those cases was the matching of a bite mark on the buttock of victim Lisa Levy to the Bundy’s distinctive, crooked and chipped teeth.
He was convicted also of the murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach based on fibers found in his van that matched the girlss clothing. Bundy was put to death in 1989.
His conviction was purely based on forensic evidence gathered from fibers found on the victims.
With this, the views advanced relating to more training needed in forensic science in the country magnifies the truism that the process of investing crimes could gather speed in its scientific methods and processes.
Victor Chanza, a 32-year-old Certified Crime Scene Reconstructionist/ Certified Fraud Examiner, urges the need for police officers, security wing personnel and the defence to undertake forensic training.
The Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University visiting lecturer in Forensic Science and Law, speaking with a sense of intellectualism said forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure.
Dr Chanza, who is also a government consultant, told me that it was important for the country to train professional civil servants, especially among those deployed in sensitive public institutions which highly depended on the accuracy of information to carry out sensitive assignments.
Narrowing forensic in relation to education, it is high time we embraced forensic science to ensure that we supplement government’s efforts by training forensic experts. The first pilot project, which was conducted at the Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University has opened its doors to these institutions and members of the public to pursue these studies,” he said.
Dr Chanza said the application of forensic science techniques has traditionally been concentrated on more serious crimes such as rape and homicide.
The expert, who holds well over 20 professional and academic qualifications all put together, proudly said he has trained a number of officers from the Zambia Police Service, Zambia Army, Barclays and Finance Banks of Zambia, Zambia Social Intelligence, Zambia National Service and Bank of Zambia.
He mentioned Mark Hansingo from the Fraud Section of the Zambia Police Headquarters, who is former Criminal Investigations Officer (CIO) at Kitwe Central Police Station and Priscilla Phiri who is currently Kitwe District Inspector and former Wusakile Administrative Inspector.
Others are  Robert Mfula, who is Country Security Manager for Barclays Bank Plc and Chellah Silwamba, who used to be Chief Inspector but is now Assistant Superintendent with the Zambia Correctional Services at Kamfinsa State Prison.
He said he wondered  why so many cases take a lot of time to dispose off, either during investigations, or through litigation.
“Against this background, I have seen a mismatch in terms of competencies and skills among most officers, especially in the police service, who are under criminal investigations. For the first we are witnessing Lilayi Police College being Commanded by Dr Charles Mbita who is expected to deliver and live up to the expectation.
“We need to commend the Inspector General for the two deputies who are working so tirelessly. The move taken by the Inspector General will cheer the Head of State for having heeded to his directive. Sometimes cases are prematurely rushed to court and lack of proper investigations because some officers do operate on training. Most of them do not have the prerequisite skills to match the kind of training that forensic experts need,” he said.
Apart from his PhD. in Forensic Science, Dr Chanza also holds Ph.Ds. in Democratic Governance & Constitutionalism, Forensic Science, LLM. International Financial & Economic Crimes Law and Master of Medical Laws (University of Kwazulu Natal-2012), Master of Forensic Science (Cranfield University-2010), Master of Forensic Pathology (Gujarat Forensic Science University-2014), LLB.Bachelor of Laws Degree (CUZ-2008), Bachelor of Laws Degree (Holbon College University -2007) and Associate Degree in Law (ICM-2006).
This list goes on.
That aside, Dr Chanza, who completed his grade 12 in 2002 at Chizongwe technical High School, is perhaps the youngest pioneer of initiatives crafted to introduce fully-fledged forensic science in the country.
“Some seven years ago, I was one of the people who were in the steering committee comprising Professor Trywell Kalyata, Stanley Hanseele, Professor Clive Chirwa, Dr Martin Malama, Prof Sitwala Mundia , Mr Maimbo and a Mr Chisompola, among others, who started exploring issues of launching the programme and this came to fruition”.
He said the programme was first launched at Copperstone University in Kitwe and was later introduced at the Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University in Lusaka.
While at Copperstone University, he held positions of Dean for Post Graduate Studies, Institute of Forensic Science & Strategic Studies, Dean School of Security Studies and Management, Dean School of Law and Head of Department Research.
He played key role in restructuring the School of Business and School of Social Sciences to merge them into one faculty called School of Business and Social Sciences.
He  also assisted in the restructuring and redesigning the  old courses to meet the market and industry needs.
“I also undertook a need assessment on the current number of universities in Zambia.”
“As a University, The Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University has fulfilled its obligation to supplement government efforts. I call upon the relevant stake holders and all well meaningful Zambians to rally behind this university. We need that robust and radical decision from the Head of State to take job audit for certain institutions,” he beseeched.
This, to him, is as a result of the fact that forensic techniques are being used routinely to aid the investigation of crimes such as burglary and vehicle crimes.
“The current forensic science study offered at the Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University aims to draw together Zambian case and international social research on the application of forensic techniques to aid crime investigations,” Dr Chanza said.
In his words, the advantage of studying forensic science is that the country will benefit from its professionals by adding value to the existing structures.
Seventh born son from a family of nine siblings whose parents are Wilfred and Sylvia Chanza, Dr Chanza believes that the truth is within us if the law has to be justified.
Without forensic science, the case that shook America between June 1984 and August 1985, where a Southern California serial killer dubbed the ‘Night Stalker’ broke into victims’ houses as they slept murdering 13 and assaulting numerous others would not have been solved.
As I see it, no man will be able to censure the truth when forensic science evidence is exhibited.

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