IT is ironic that the same people who on Friday burnt two Police posts and other private property in Kafue are asking for Police protection against criminals.
It might not be all of the residents who participated in the destruction of public and private property, but what should be understood is that what the rioters did is not only despicable but also deserves punishment.
Just what were the residents thinking when they armed themselves to chase away police officers from Lumumba and Mtendere posts and later set them ablaze.
These are the same Police they turn to when they are faced with criminal elements in their community?
While we understand they were aggrieved because one of their own was knocked down by a Police officer, this cannot be sufficient cause to incite them into riotous behaviour when the obvious course of action would have been to apprehend the wrong doer and hand him over to the Police.
What the residents of Lumumba and Mtendere should understand is that Police officers are not above the law and are subject to the same criminal justice when they transgress the law.
In fact, the Police officer responsible for the mayhem has been arrested and the Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has assured the victim that the law will take its course.
Had the residents of Kafue taken their civic responsibility seriously, the entire ugly incident in which some of them are now facing criminal prosecution would not have taken place.
It is unlikely the community will receive police protection soon. No Police officer is willing to sit in a burnt structure.
Even if new Police officers were willing to take up the posts, we doubt they would feel safe enough to serve a fickle that can easily turn against them.
It is important for the civic leader or leaders in Mtendere and Lumumba to embark on sensitisation meetings about the importance of having Police in their community.
The Police are not only in charge of crime prevention but also act on criminality. These are two major duties of the Police officers.
The residents of Mtendere and Lumumba should be alive to the reasons why the Police posts were set up to appreciate police work.
This is the reason why we said it is ironic that the same people who armed themselves with all sorts of objects to chase the Police officers away and later burnt the officers are the ones calling for protection from criminals.
We understand that not all residents rioted but this is a lesson which the community should learn as they handle future cases.