Police have arrested 220 people in Mansa following the riots which resulted in the death of five people after rumours of suspected ritual killings.
The police have since dispatched 300 officers to Mansa to reinforce the local police and ensure the situation is brought under control.
The riots have resulted in the damage and looting of various properties belonging to local businessmen worth billions of Kwacha.
Police public relations officer Ndandula Siamana said in a statement that besides damaging property, the rioters also killed cattle, goats and chickens.
“Many prominent shops were set ablaze and some rioters mercilessly slaughtered chickens and also besieged some farms,” she said.
Ms Siamana warned that police are still carrying out investigations and those arrested risk being charged with offences ranging from murder, assault, theft and malicious damage to property as well as riotous behaviour.
“The police service cannot tolerate this and will not rest and will ensure that until those in custody and those to be arrested are taken to court,” she said.
She said this has been the saddest development because it has signifies anarchy and breakdown of law and order in Mansa.
“As the security situation normalizes in Mansa, Victims of these riots and indeed the law abiding citizens particularly in Mansa are requested to cooperate with the police service,” she said.
Ms Ndandula said the service is further appealing to Mansa resident that might information regarding those who were involved in the riots but have not been arrested to get in touch with the inspector general of police, the commending officer and the public relations officer.
And the MMD in Luapula province has condemned the violence describing it as unnecessary and retrogressive.
MMD provincial secretary, Able Chilukuta, said the party in Nchelenge district, where he is a councilor, has asked the police to guard Amico shop belonging tone of the businessmen affected by the rioting.
“We do not want the violence and destruction to spread to Nchelenge where some of the Mansa businessmen also have businesses, I have told the officer in charge to guard the Amico shop in Kashikishi,” he said.
He urged the people in Mansa to remain calm and allow government investigating agencies to do their work nad come up with the truth instead of acting on mere rumours,” he said.
[Zambia Daily Mail]