PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has ordered the security services which include the Zambia Army to restore law and order following the suspected ritual murders and the resultant rioting in some parts of Lusaka.
He issued the special operational order on Tuesday night which would be reviewed today.
President Lungu explained that the order was specifically designed to stop the recent spate of ritual murders and the resultant rioting in some townships where irresponsible people spread inflammatory rumours against certain nationalities.
He was speaking to journalists after meeting Muchinga Province chiefs at State House.
By April 18, 2016 George and Zingalume residents witnessed a total number of six bodies found with some body parts missing.
On March 17, 2016 four bodies of males aged between 18 and 40 years were found in George compound and on April 7, 2016 another body was discovered in the same compound.
And on April 16 a body of a male aged 30 years was found in George compound.
“Special measures have to be put in place to contain the situation. Special situations call for special measures. Some people took advantage of the situation and criminal elements began looting.
“I gave an order last night to ensure that we meet the challenge of our time. We are monitoring from now on to tomorrow (today) morning and review our order,” President Lungu said.
He advised the public to report cases to the police unlike killing each other.
“If someone tells you we have found a heart with a suspect and you all jump to Rwandese shops. That is anarchy because the heart can be for an animal,” he said.
And acting Defence Minister Davis Mwila said a battalion of 440 Zambia Army officers have been deployed in Lusaka to restore law and order following the looting of foreigners’ shops, riots and the ritual killings which have gripped the Capital City.
Mr Mwila, who is Home Affairs Minister, told Parliament in a ministerial statement that the officers would be withdrawn today.
He said the aim of the operation by the Zambia army was aimed at assessing the situation in the compounds that were characterised by looting of foreigners’ shops, riots and ritual killings.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwila revealed that among the 11 people arrested in connection with the ritual killings, two were foreigners while the nine were Zambians. Mr Mwila said those arrested were currently in custody helping the police with the investigations into the suspected ritual murders.
“The police are committed to finding the criminals behind the murders that have rocked our capital city. These criminals shall be hunted down and be made to account for their evil actions,” he said.
He said the attacks on people and property regardless of the nationality of the persons involved was criminal and could not be conducted in a democratic dispensation.
Mr Mwila said the criminals behind the attacks had dented the reputation of Zambia as a haven and sanctuary for those who leave their countries on account of insecurity and persecution.
“My government is doing everything possible to ensure that these criminals and barbaric activities come to an immediate end,” he said.