October 11, 2005: Headlines: COS - Zambia: Misconduct: PCOL Exclusive: Peace Corps investigates and takes action on Incident in Kasama District in Zambia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Zambia: Peace Corps Zambia : The Peace Corps in Zambia: October 7, 2005: Headlines: COS - Zambia: Crime: Misconduct: NGO's: Amnesty International: Racism: All Africa: The Times of Zambia (Ndola) reports that Charles Mulenga, director of Amnesty International Zambia (AIZ) says that his organization has condemned the misconduct by some American Peace Corps volunteers in Kasama who allegedly urinated into a water tank and uttered racial abuse : October 11, 2005: Headlines: COS - Zambia: Misconduct: PCOL Exclusive: Peace Corps investigates and takes action on Incident in Kasama District in Zambia
PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident" Date: October 13 2005 No: 737 PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident"
The District Commissioner for the Kasama District in Zambia issued a statement banning Peace Corps activities for ‘grave’ social misconduct and unruly behavior for an incident that occurred on September 24 involving 13 PCVs. Peace Corps said that some of the information put out about the incident was "inflammatory and false." On October 12, Country Director Davy Morris met with community leaders and apologized for the incident. All PCVs involved have been reprimanded, three are returning home, and a ban in the district has since been lifted.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-62-98.balt.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 12:40 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps investigates and takes action on Incident in Kasama District in Zambia

Peace Corps investigates and takes action on Incident in Kasama District in Zambia

Following is PCOL's exclusive report on the "Kasama incident." For the record, this story was completed on October 11, but we made a journalistic decision to "embargo" the story until after Peace Corps Country Director Davy Morris had a chance to meet with community leaders from Mulenga Hills in the office of Kasama District Commissioner, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Chanda on October 12 and issue the statement that the US government regrets the unruly behaviour of the volunteers. PCOL thanks Barbara Daly and the Peace Corps Press Office for their complete cooperation in filing this story.

Peace Corps investigates and takes action on Incident in Kasama District in Zambia

Peace Corps investigates and takes action on Incident in Kasama, Zambia

On October 11, PCOL spoke with Barbara Daly, Director of the Peace Corps Press Office, about recent events in Kasama, Zambia.

According to reports in the Zambian Press, some Peace Corps volunteers had climbed a 100-metre water tank in Mulenga Hill, Kasama District and wrote graffiti on the top of a water tower with used motor oil following a drinking spree.

According to the Peace Corps, much of the information that has been put out about the incident is inflammatory and false.

On September 24, thirteen volunteers climbed a water tower in the Kasama District and two wrote graffiti on the top of the water tank in motor oil. The graffitti was not visible from the ground.

The volunteers were questioned by local police about the incident the following day and released after allegations of contaminating the water supply proved false.

Allegations that the volunteers urinated in the water tank and yelled racial insults from the water tower are not true. Local water and sewage officials tested the water supply and found it to be safe for drinking. Furthermore, the configuration of the water tank is such that it would be physically impossible to do such an act.

All thirteen of the volunteers involved in the incident have been reprimanded.

After the incident, the District Commissioner of Kasama stated that he did not want volunteers in the district. Peace Corps has moved all volunteers out of the area and the volunteers involved have submitted a letter of apology to the Kasama District Commissioner.

The Country Director for Zambia has requested a meeting with the Kasama District Comissioner to apologize in person and request that this unfortunate incident not overshadow the important work done by Peace Corps volunteers and their counterparts throughout the country.

Peace Corps sincerely regrets that this incident has occurred. There are presently 167 volunteers in the nation of Zambia. Peace Corps has been in Zambia since 1993 and over 600 volunteers have served in Zambia since the program was started.

When this story was posted in October 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Zambia; Misconduct


By Steev Lynn (pool-71-241-139-149.burl.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 12:29 pm: Edit Post

This article on Kasama incident is incomplete and is second-rate journalism without including what was written by the graffiti vandals on the top of the tank. Whatever it was, it evidently irked local authorities and prompted a drastic reaction.

I'm aware of other incidents in which PCVs have brought shame on the organization through lewd, drunken, or otherwise irresponsible behavior. I'd be interested in the ideas of other PCVs and RPCVs on possible ways to instill more of a sense of duty and professionalism and to curb infantile, culturally insensitive behavior.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-110-196.balt.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 12:39 pm: Edit Post

Dear Mr. Lynn,

Here's what was written on the watertower.

We weren't in Zambia when it happened so all we can do is put together the incident from the various sources who were there.

To get a more complete view of the incident read all our stories here.

Best Regards,


By Anonymous (cache-dtc-aa04.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 3:59 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps volunteers are under a false sense of security regarding their personal safety. These are rough times for all overseas and targeting any American is a distinct possibility. The rumored connection with CIA has been rumored since PC inception among host country politicians.
The addition of military reservists, who may indeed possess specialized useful knowledge of current technologies and excellent organizational skills will neither put rumors to rest or inflame those already believing they have the facts. Once they are clearly under the peace corps non-military control, their staying under civilian control is an administrative function or to put it another way, can we not trust our own government?

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