Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila says the Zambia Police has deployed enough Police officers to end the violence attacks that saw shops belonging to foreign nationals looted and one Rwandan National burnt to death.
In a ministerial statement issued on national television, Mr Mwila said said criminal elements took advantage of the pain and grief the country felt over suspected ritual killings that has rocked the capital city since March 16, 2016 and sparked off attacks on shops owned by foreigners and Zambians operating in what he said high density residential areas.
He said the attacks were sparked of by another false allegation that a ritual killer of foreign origin had been released from police custody.
He explained that the said foreign national was arrested on the night of 17th of April for the crime of conduct likely to cause breach of peace and was released after he paid admission of guilt fine
He said contrary to the rumours, the Police are working round the clock to ensure that they bring the perpetrators to book adding that a number of suspects are helping the Police with investigations.
He also commended some residents in George Compound who helped the Police to prevent the burning of the Police station for the second time in less than a month.
Below is the statement as read out by the Minister.
Ministerial Statement on the suspected ritual killings and the looting of shops in the high density residential areas of Lusaka
Today has been a very sad day for our country. It is a day on which some criminal elements in Lusaka with criminal intent took advantage of the pain and grief we have all felt over the suspected ritual killings that have rocked the city of Lusaka since march 16, 2016.
These criminal elements sparked off attacks on shops owned by foreigners and Zambian nationals operating in the high density residential areas in the west and north of the city of Lusaka.
The worst affected areas in the west being George, Lilanda, Chunga, Zingalume and part of Matero, while Chaisa, Kabanana, Mandevu and Chipata compound were the worst affected in the north.
Ladies and gentlemen, contrary to the false rumours being spread by criminal elements, the police have been working round the clock to bring the killings to an end and the perpetrators to book. So far a number of suspects are helping the police with the investigations.
The attacks on the shops in the high density residential areas were sparked off by yet another false allegation that the police had released a “suspected foreign ritual killer.”
The foreign national in question, however, had been arrested on the night of 17th april for the offence of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace. He was accordingly released upon paying the admission of guilt fine.
The police are therefore committed to containing the crime wave and shall no doubt bring the suspected ritual killers to book.
The anti-social and criminal conduct seen in the high density areas north and west of the city of Lusaka must come to an immediate end. The Zambia police service has deployed adequate manpower and has so far apprehended suspects in connection with the looting. They have also recovered some of the looted properties. The police shall continue with the patrols until the situation returns to normal.
In the midst of these criminal activities, some patriotic residents of George compound have been heroic. They have worked and supported the police by taking turns to protect their police post from being destroyed by the criminal elements for the second time in a space of two weeks. This is how all peace loving Zambians ought to behave.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to assure the business community and members of the general public that no expense shall be spared to protect lives and property. The Zambia police service has deployed adequate manpower to contain the situation and bring the perpetrators of these criminal activities to book.
We must all remain calm, support the police and isolate all the those involved in these criminal activities. We must continue to uphold the law and avoid taking the law into our own hands.