KAFUE town residents have appealed to the police not to use tear gas or guns when quelling mass demonstrations because this can lead to ugly reaction by those affected.
‘‘Police in riot gear and dressed like men going for war armed with tear gas or guns only serve to inflame situations, leading to violent clashes,’’ says one resident.
They have suggested that police should try to quell demonstrations in a non-aggressive manner, ensuring that no one was hurt in the process.
Mr Evans Kanjele, a Kafue resident, said: ‘‘The police make the situation worse when they go geared up like they are going to arrest notorious criminals or people preparing for war.
‘‘Police are supposed to be friends of the people, they should not instill fear in people, no matter the situation.
“It is depressing to see how people are tear gassed even when they are protesting for a good cause,” said Mr Kanjele.
He said the police should find less forceful ways to quell public demonstrations to avoid any loss of human life
“When the police show up geared to tear gas or shoot at people, the people start behaving nervously . People feel intimidated by the presence of riot policemen and this leads them to act even more violently,” he said.
He said people did not just riot for the sake of it but there was something that pushed them into that situation. Mr. Kanjele however urged people to carry out peaceful demonstrations to avoid loss of life and property.
“If you want your leaders to listen to you do it in a peaceful way, such that there is no life lost and there is no one hurt.
“Destroying property does not in any way help anyone because it is the same people destroying property who suffer more,” he said.
Mr. Kanjele was commenting on the recent riots in Kafue town where people rioted after a police officer who was suspected of drunk driving knocked down a female marketeer.
The residents out of anger destroyed property including two police posts in the area. -Millennium Radio 90.05FM