ONE hundred and fifty people have been arrested in Southern Province for rioting, which left two houses and several market stalls burnt down and vehicles damaged, following the re-election of President Edgar Lungu in the just ended general elections.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Southern Province Police Commissioner Godwin Phiri disclosed that riots had broken out in most parts of the region and that people went amok and blocked roads, damaged property and vehicles.
He said that shortly after the declaration was made, some UPND supporters took to the streets and started attacking people who were celebrating President Lungu’s victory.
Mr Phiri confirmed that 150 people had been arrested and that the police were on the ground to control the situation.
He said the angry mobs even beat up police officers and that some market stalls were burnt down in Choma and several vehicles damaged across the province.
Mr Phiri said that people in the province were flabbergasted by the final outcome of the just ended general elections.
“Riots have broken out in most parts of Southern Province shortly after the declaration. Market stalls and houses burnt down. R/A/SUPT Musole Luke sustained cuts on the upper right eye and head; Constable Sikazwe
Steven sustained cuts in the head and other officers also.
‘‘UPND cadres took to the streets of Choma burning tyres, blocking roads and beating up people who were celebrating President Lungu’s victory – 49 male, four female suspects in Mazabuka are in custody; total arrested in the province in connection to the riots is 150,” he said.
Mr Phiri said that calm had returned in districts that were affected by riots but that there were reports of threats against people who did not originate from Southern Province.
He said that people who were not Tonga were systematically being targeted by being followed to their homes.
Mr Phiri disclosed that police had intensified patrols in all districts of Southern Province and that they were responding to SOS calls as soon they received them.
He said that they valued the lives of all citizens and that police had a duty to protect and save lives at all costs.