A Facebook page called Zambian Eye News published an article on February 7, 2023, claiming that a snake was found in a police cell where Dr Chishimba Kambwili was detained. A picture of the alleged snake accompanied the article. The post was also published on their website.
iVerify Zambia has determined as misleading the claim that a snake was found in a police cell where Dr Chishimba Kambwili was detained. On February 7, 2023, Dr Kambwili, a former Minister of Information under the Patriotic Front government was arrested and detained at Balmoral Police post in Makeni.
iVerify Zambia contacted Mr. Danny Mwale, the Acting Zambia Police Spokesperson who confirmed that a snake was indeed found in the Balmoral Police Post cell when the in inmates were cleaning, but that was before Dr. Kambwili was put in the cell.
Mr. Mwale also clarified that the snake in the picture that was circulating on social media was not the one found in the police cell. He went on to share with iVerify Zambia a picture of the actual snake that was killed in the cell. He added that it was inevitable for snakes to stray into the police post premises because the police post is located in the bush. He said this was common in the rainy season which contributes to snakes leaving the bush to find warm places. iVerify Zambia examined the authenticity of the picture on the Zambian Eye News Facebook page using image verification tools, and the results showed that the picture was taken in 2018.
Therefore, the Zambian Eye News Facebook page article about the snake in Dr. Kambwili’s police cell is misleading.