…police also apprehend 256 looters
POLICE have arrested 11 people in connection with suspected ritual killings that have characterised Lusaka recently, Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila revealed yesterday.
And police have also apprehended 256 people in connection with the looting of foreigners’ shops in some parts of Lusaka, police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda announced in a statement yesterday.
Mr Mwila said police had deployed adequate manpower in the flashpoints and had so far apprehended some suspects in connection with the looting.
“They have also recovered some of the looted properties,” Mr Mwila said.
He said the police would continue with the patrols until the situation returned to normal.
Mr Mwila said in the midst of the confusion some patriotic residents of George compound took turns to protect their police post from being destroyed by criminal elements for the second time in a space of two weeks.
“This is how all peace-loving Zambians ought to behave,” Mr Mwila said.
He assured the business community and members of the public that ‘‘no expense shall be spared’’ to protect lives and property.
Mr Mwila said the Zambia Police Service had deployed adequate manpower to contain the situation and bring the perpetrators of these criminal activities to book.
“We must all remain calm, support the police and isolate all those involved in these criminal activities.
“We must continue to uphold the law and avoid taking the law into our own hands,” the Minister said.
Mr Mwila described Monday as a sad day when some people in Lusaka with ‘‘criminal intent took advantage of the pain and grief’’ felt by everyone over the suspected ritual killings that had rocked the city of Lusaka since March 16, 2016.
“These criminal elements sparked off attacks on shops owned by foreigners and Zambian nationals operating in the high density residential areas in the west and north of the City of Lusaka,” he said.
Mr Mwila said the worst affected areas in the west were George, Lilanda, Chunga, Zingalume and parts of Matero, while Chaisa, Kabanana, Mandevu and Chipata compound were the worst affected in the north.
Mr Mwila said contrary to the false rumours being spread by criminal elements, the police had been working round the clock to bring the killings to an end and the perpetrators to book.
And Ms Munganga said the number of shops broken into and looted as of yesterday stood at 62.
In the last two days, residents of Zingalume, George, Chawama, Mtendere, Kanyama and Ngombe compounds in Lusaka ran amok, looting shops belonging to foreigners who they accused of being behind the recent spate of suspected ritual killings.
Shops were looted following unconfirmed reports that police found body parts in a shop belonging to a businessman in Zingalume.
The residents took whatever they could lay their hands on from the shops including bags of mealie meal, juice, sugar and many other items.