Taxi drivers, police clash in Kitwe

Police in riot gear yesterday afternoon fired teargas to disperse taxi drivers in Kitwe who had blocked the independence Avenue with burning tyres and logs in protest against police continuous patrols to curb the increasing pirate taxis in the city centre.

The taxi drivers were protesting against police continued patrols and harassment which had created feuds between the law enforcers and the pirtors.

The pirate taxi drivers ganged up with street children to block independence Avenue with burning tyres and logs before they started breaking vehicles which were using the road which they had blocked.

A number of motorist using Independence Avenue, Langashe and Chisokone roads were forced to use alternative routes because the roads were blocked with burning tyres and logs.

The confusion forced some shop and restaurant owners like After ten and those in Chisokone market to close their shops and run for their lives after police fired teargas.

After realising that the riot was degenerating into complete lawlessness and that the police were getting weaker to contain the situation, reinforcement had to be called from all police station from the city to quench the riot.

By press time, police were still carrying out their operations on Chisokone road, Independence Avenue and Langashe road to ensure order in the city.

Acting Copperbelt police Chief Joyce Kasosa said three people had been apprehended in connection with the riot and six vehicles which were being used in the riot had been impounded.

Kasosa said the riot was organized by street kids and Kaponyas in support of the pirate taxis who were protesting over police continuous patrols to curb the increasing pirating in the city.”Three people have been apprehended and six vehicles which were being used in the riot and blocking of the road have been impounded. It is the Kaponyas and street kids who mobilized themselves to come up with such confusion,” Ms Kasosa said.

 

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