Riots broke out in Choma after residents ran amok when word went round that a suspect linked to the recent murder of a taxi driver has been apprehended by police.
The residents wanted to carry out instant mob justice on the suspect and ended up fighting battles with the police and blocked sections of the Livingstone-Choma road.
The angry residents also burnt tyres and Choma police had to call for reinforcements after they were clearly outnumbered by the protestors.
The residents are said to have demanded that they take the law into their own hands and manhandle the man police suspect to have been connected to the death of a taxi driver about two months ago.
Police reinforcements from Kalomo and other surrounding towns had arrived and the situation was calm but volatile.
And Police Spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela confirmed that some members of the public around 14:00 hours descended on police officers in Choma demanding that the suspects be handed over to them.
Mrs. Kanjela said this followed the report of a person by the names of Lubinda Sitali, a taxi driver, who went missing on 18th February, 2013 in Kamuza Compound in Choma whose body was unfortunately found yesterday in Mbabala area in a decomposed state by some people who were slashing along the roadside around 09:00 hours with the head two meters away.
“It is saddening that based on wrong information that suspects have been arrested, some members of the public descended on our police officers demanding that the suspects be handed over to them. The same group had blocked some roads in Choma, burnt tyres and threatened to riot, however we have managed to control the situation,” Mrs Kanjela said in a statement this evening.
She urged members of the public to desist from taking the law in their hands instead give chance to the police to carry out their duties without interference.
“We are warning all the unruly people who are in the habit of rushing to the streets to cause confusion whenever they feel there is an opportunity that they shall be dealt with sternly as lawlessness in our country shall not be tolerated.”