The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes says the reported incidences of riot behaviour, where citizens in Chingola have taken the law in their own hands-on account of reports of suspected ritual killings or pure acts of criminality on the part of some citizens is a source of concern.
Organisation Executive Director Boniface Chembe says other reports suggesting the gasing with unknown chemicals of citizens leading to death has equally been of concern to SACCORD as this may suggest that there is a general sense of fear among members of the community about happenings that are not clear to them or the law enforcement agencies that have the duty of protecting them.
Mr Chembe says the deployment of senior members of the Zambia Police Service and Zambia Army by President Edgar Lungu was important as it shows the gravity of the matter and the seriousness and concern that the Government attaches to the plight of the people of Chingola and other parts of the Copperbelt.
He said in addition, the recent deployment of the Minister of Home Affairs by the President to Chingola to bring back law and order as well as security is a welcome move that shows how concerned and caring the Government is for the people of Chingola and other parts of the Copperbelt.
Mr Chembe said SACCORD has been in touch with its members and coordinators in Chingola so that on a daily basis they understand the situation at hand and precisely what is prevailing in the locality as the organization has been concerned with the state of peace and security for the affected local communities.
He said it is clear from their coordinators reports which have been triangulated with other reports from the media and like-minded partners that have undertaken fact-finding missions that what is happening still requires further understanding although the law enforcement agencies have made great headway and sooner rather than later the nation will be informed.
“However, what is also clear is that there is still need to enhance and strengthen the level of information dissemination to citizens of Chingola and other parts of the Copperbelt on what is happening and the progress being made to arrest the situation so that law and order, peace, tranquillity and stability is fully restored”, he said.
Mr Chembe has since appealed to the citizens in Chingola and other parts of the Copperbelt to as much as possible avoid taking the law into their own hands as this jeopardizes the value and principle of law and order in the country.
He has further appealed to the Zambia Police Service and law enforcement agencies to increase the number of officers sent on the ground to ensure the restoration of peace and law and order, this should appease the citizens to ensure that any suspicious acts or individuals are immediately reported to those who are charged with the responsibility of restoring normalcy in the affected areas.