Residents in Kapesha and Semana villages in Mansa district, Luapula Province today run amok shooting and burning down houses belonging to local businessmen.
It took a combined team of armed Zambia Army, Zambia Police and Zambia National Services (ZNS) Officers to quell the situation around 18:00 hours on Monday.
Zambia Police Spokesperson, Ndandula Siamana also confirmed the development in a telephone interview with ZANIS in Lusaka, Monday evening saying Police Officers have since been deployed to Mansa to help calm the situation.
ZANIS reports that one local businessman who was a money lender only identified as Walty was also burnt to death in Kapesha bringing the number of those so far burnt to death over accusations of ritual killings to three.
Police clad in riot gears fought running battles with the riotous mobs in Kapesha, Semana, and Mansa Central business district.
In Mansa Central business district, the riotous mob also looted three shops belonging to a local businessman of Indian origin Ibrahim Sanaullar popularly known as Amico.
[pullquote]“It’s not true that the people who were killed yesterday were ritual killers because one of the victims was a grade 12 pupil at a named school while the other was a local farmer. What is sad is that there were no reports of anyone killed for ritual killings in the districts” he said[/pullquote]
The businessman also had his house on Mansa airport road destroyed. The mob were seen hauling fridges, mattresses, blankets and assorted essentials like cooking oil,mealie meal and sugar from three shops.
A garage belonging to Irene Chilongo the owner of Tedja Lodge was also attacked by the riotous crowd who burnt one of her trucks.
Mrs. Chilongo’s residential house was also destroyed by the riotous mob. Meanwhile, another house belonging to a local businessman near Kasasa market was burnt to ashes during the riot on Monday afternoon.
The residents also barricaded Chembe Mansa and Mansa Kashikishi roads with heaps of stones and branches blocking traffick getting into town.
However,traffick was running normally on Mansa –Samfya road today. The riot started around 14:00 hours Monday and was only thwarted in the evening at 18:00 hours by a combined team of Police, Army and ZNS officers who managed to round up a few riotous people and retrieved looted goods from Amico shops.
Angry villagers in Senama area of Mansa district yesterday burnt to death two unidentified middle-aged men whom they suspected of being ritual killers.
And Zambia Police Spokesperson Ndandula Siamana said the police command has since deplored more Police Officers from Lusaka to help quell the situation. Ms Ndandula said the officers were deployed Monday afternoon to Mansa to help calm the situation.
And Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde has warned perpetrators of violence in Mansa of arrest and would be charged for accomplice murder and damage to property.
According to a separate statement, the Spokesperson availed to ZANIS, however, Mr Kabonde said that the violence which started Sunday night had continued to be perpetrated in broad day light today (Monday) and refuted all stories of suspected ritual killings saying the police had not recorded any case of such kind.
“It’s not true that the people who were killed yesterday were ritual killers because one of the victims was a grade 12 pupil at a named school while the other was a local farmer. What is sad is that there were no reports of anyone killed for ritual killings in the districts” he said
Mr. Kabonde has since appealed to people of Mansa to remain calm as Police has sent reinforcement to restore peace and order in the area.
“I appeal to peace loving Zambians in Mansa to be calm as police have been send to as reinforcement to calm and restore order by all means” he said.