THE announcement by President Edgar Lungu in Chipata that four people suspected to be part of the gang of brutal killers that has been terrorising Lusaka have been arrested, must have sent a huge sigh of relief to all Zambians.
But the excessive anger exhibited by Zingalume, George and Chunga residents yesterday who attacked and looted properties owned by foreigners following rumours that human body parts had been found in the shop of a foreigner businessmen, is not the best way to solve the problem.
We understand the anger and frustration that has built up since these brutal killigs started. And we condemn in the strongest terms perpetrators of these heinous crimes which are totally alien to Zambia where innocent citizens have been slaughtered in the most inhumane fashion.
But taking the law in our hands is not the best way to go about it. Police have done their part by arresting four suspects who may be linked to these murders. Our job as law-abiding citizens is to help the police with information to strengthen their investigations and perhaps arrest more suspects.
It is possible that more than four people were involved. When we riot and loot our neighbours’ shops we give chance to the killers and their masterminds to get away.
Zambia cannot afford to descend into the dark abyss of xenophobia as displayed in some African countries where citizens of other states were victimized and killed for no good reason. We have the international duty and responsibility to protect and defend all those who have made Zambia their home.
Let residents of Zingalume, George and Chunga must understand that the best way to avenge the deaths of their relatives and neighbours is to help the police with useful information; after all there is K50,000 reward to collect for such information.
We know how residents of Lusaka, and no doubt some other parts of the country, have been terrified and agonised by the events of the last three weeks.
What motivation can drive a man, a father or mother for that matter, to engage in such horrendous crime?
Could it be politics or money? How can one live with such cruelty in his heart unknown perhaps to his close family members, neighbours and residents of the same township or suburb where they live?
If it is proved that the ‘‘articles’’ or organs the four men were allegedly found carrying were indeed human body parts, this is a big breakthrough for the police.
But what we find bizarre is that the killers picked their victims with such care and thoroughness that although they were killed or their bodies dumped in the same triangle of Zingalume, George and Lilanda compounds, no one apparently escaped to tell the story.
How possible that the four first victims, all men, were rounded up, brutally killed and their bodies mutilated before being dumped in an open area in one of the townships without any of them putting up a fight or shouting for help?
What are these killers using to silence and quickly immobilise their victims, cut them up and then carry the bodies somewhere and leave them for the police to find them so easily?
We hope and pray that this sad chapter in our history has come to an end. We hope those arrested are indeed the suspects police have been looking for.
For those families and individuals personally devastated by this crime, their only solace is in the fact that justice is a process but it will finally come.