INSPECTOR General (IG) of Police Kakoma Kanganja believes the Kafue riots in which a mob destroyed two police posts and several vehicles, including a fire tender, were politically motivated.
Mr Kanganja said this is because of the amount of destruction caused by the irate residents.
“The accident, as it happened, could not have been the sole reason for this kind of behaviour. The amount of destruction and violence displayed tells me this could have been politically motivated,” Mr Kanganja said.
He was speaking in Kafue yesterday when he went to inspect the damage caused to property in Zambia Compound after a police officer knocked down a marketeer sparking off riots. One man was shot dead and 35 people were arrested.
Mr Kanganja, who was shocked at the gravity of destruction, told the residents that there are better ways to express their grievances because violence is not a solution.
He said if the community was not happy with police action, it should have channelled its grievances to the district commissioner (DC).
The IG, who said President Lungu has been preaching peace, forgiveness and reconciliation, also urged people to avoid violence and adhere to the law as Zambia goes towards general elections this year.
Mr Kanganja said the 35 who were arrested have been charged with arson and riotous behaviour and would appear in court tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Mr Kanganja said action would be taken against the police officer who knocked down a marketeer, Ireen Kaluba, on Friday morning.
He said this when he paid a visit to Ms Kaluba at University Teaching Hospital (UTH), where she is admitted.
Mr Kanganja told Ms Kaluba that no-one is above the law, including himself.
Meanwhile, Kafue DC Mungoni Moyo said there are better ways to solve problems.
“You know what your colleagues in Chikoswe went through after burning the police post. Is this what you also want to go through?”
And residents of Mtendere Township, where one of the police posts was gutted, have appealed to Mr Kanganja to quickly repair the damage and operationalise the police posts for fear that the area would be terrorised by criminals.