By Nation Reporter
Police yesterday moved into Lusaka’s Zingalume, George and Chunga townships to quell riots after residents ran amok and looted some shops owned by foreigners, accusing them of being involved in the spate of ritual killings.
Police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda confirmed the looting of four shops which were vandalised and robbed.
Ms. Munganga said more anti-riot personnel had been deployed in the three compounds to control the situation and prevent it from escalating.
“Four shops were looted on suspicion that foreigners were involved in the recent murders which have been happening in the area. So more officers in full riot gear have been deployed in the three areas,” Ms. Munganga said.
The protest was triggered by unconfirmed reports which went viral, claiming that a Rwandese businessman had been found by police with human body parts in his shop in Zingalume.
President Edgar Lungu announced on Sunday that police have arrested four people in connection with the spate of brutal killings which had rocked the country over the past four weeks, and drastically disrupted business and social life in Lusaka.
Police on patrol reportedly arrested the quartet on Saturday night and found them in possession of ‘‘articles’’ resembling human body parts which have been sent for laboratory tests.
Angry residents took to the streets, chanting anti-foreigner slogans and calling for non-Zambians to be sent back to their countries.
Some of the residents broke into shops of foreign traders and looted them. Scores of youths were seen carting away goods from the shops, including fridges.
“We do not want foreigners in our communities anymore because they are the ones killing our people; we are aware that one of them has been caught with human flesh in one of his shops.
“We cannot sit down and watch our fellow Zambians being slaughtered like animals, they are now taking advantage of the fact that Zambia is a Christian nation; enough is enough and we will not allow it to continue.”
A survey by the Daily Nation crew, who went round the three townships, found that more than eight shops belonging to foreigners had been looted.
And some foreigners whose shops were looted lamented over the violent behaviour of the residents.
One of the victims who spoke on condition of anonymity said it was unfair for residents to break into their shops and rob them as they were innocent.