POLICE in Chipata have apprehended 25 people for the riotous behaviour. This followed squatters of farm number D/25/K/1/F belonging to Contract Haulage (CH) who ran amok and blocked the Great East Road after Undersheriffs of Zambia evicted them from the land.
The riots triggered after about 49 former employees of CH engaged Undersheriffs of Zambia to evict the squatters who had built houses in the farm belonging to them.
Police in riot gear teargas the people who had taken over the Great East Road by burning tyres thereby causing people to scamper in a different direction.
Traffic on the Great East Road was paralysed as it was the only route to the longest trips.
According to Eastern Province Police Commissioner Eugene Sibote, Undersheriffs of Zambia took the action on Tuesday evening and evicted the squatters for illegally occupying the land which former CH employees had won in the High Court.
He said some of the people who were in the farm were not employees of CH adding that they were not entitled to the land.
Mr Sibote said the squatters were supposed to get the land in a normal way instead of illegally squatting in the farm belonging to former CH employees.
He said the former CH employees were rewarded with the houses as part of their terminal benefits after the CH went under.
“About 49 CH former workers went to court and at court, they agreed with CH to get the houses on farm number D/25/K/1/F as part of their terminal benefits and they agreed to pay K10, 000 but these people have no problem despite not paying the money but the squatters who built houses are the ones who rioted,” he said.
Mr Sibote said more people were likely to be picked up for the riotous behaviour stating that police would process their case records so that they appear in court soon.
He said young people should always refrain from being used as tools of violence.
He said police officers moved in and calmed the situation.