The Zambia Police has recorded a reduction regarding reports received from the public on instances of malicious administering of chemical substance.
Zambia Police spokeperson Esther Katongo said most of the reports received from various communities within Lusaka have not yet been verified as purported victims are being found in a stable condition whenever officers respond to reports.
Mrs Katongo however said Police recorded two evident cases which happened between 01 00 hours and 02 00 hours in Chipata Compound in Lusaka in which two households were sprayed with a chemical substance.
She said in both circumstances, Criminals are reported to have gotten to the rooftops of the houses , lifted iron sheets and sprayed the chemical inside houses.
Mrs Katongo said the victims are reported to have become unconscious and all victims were rushed to Chipata level 1 hospital for medical attention with three victims having been recorded in these attacks.
And Mrs Katongo said in Kanyama, a report of chemical spraying was received in the early hours of today around 02 00 hours in Makeni Simsom area and four occupants were chocked.
“When the victims called for help, people in the neighbourhood woke up and spotted a minibus parked and immediately sped away. People followed it and managed to block it and on board were two occupants and a 5 liter container containing a blue substance was found on the motor vehicle with four empty plastic bottles”, she said.
Mrs Katongo said people surrendered the suspects to police and did not cause any damage to the motor vehicle and said the suspects are in police custody while the chemical substance will be taken for analysis.
Meanwhile, in Lusaka’s Jack Compound, a mob damaged a motor vehicle which was found parked along the road with two occupants however, it was established after investigations that the motor vehicle in question had run out of fuel hence the occupants were victims of circumstance who were rescued by police who rushed to the scene and escaped with minor injuries.
“In Central Province, there was a report of riotous behaviour mostly by youths from Makululu Compound who upon hearing that police officers followed up a report of chemical spraying, decided to block a roads and later went to the Great North Road where they damaged four motor vehicles”, Mrs Katongo added.
She said police managed to contain the situation and engaged civic leaders to sensitive the youth involved and Police are monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, Mrs Katongo said between 2200 hours and 23 00 hours , police received a report of chemical spraying at Kabwe Trades training Institute in which 10 female students were affected and were rushed to a health facility for medical attention.
She said several unverified reports are being received by police in areas such as Southern Province and Luapula Provinces and police are on high alert monitoring the situation.
Mrs Katongo said Police are still concerned that members of the public have continued taking the law into their own hands by lynching any person found in their respective areas who they are suspecting to be behind chemical spraying.
“Just from 16 00 hours yesterday, 14th February, 2020, three people have so far been killed in Lusaka by mobs on mare suspicion bringing the total number of victims of mob justice who have died to nine (09). Yesterday around 16 00 hours in Lusaka’s Chipwalu near Chazanga compound, a mob killed a male adult and seriously injured eight others on suspicion that they were behind chemical spraying. The survivors are receiving treatment while the body is in UTH mortuary”, she narrated.
Mrs Katongo said the mob also went to Chipwalu Police Post in an attempt to set the police post on fire but were repelled by officers.
She said in Kanyama’s Kanono area , a female adult was stoned to death by a mob around 2200 hours on suspicion of chemical spraying while in Matero’s Kasupe area in Konkwa village, a male adult aged between 20 and 25 years was murdered by a mob and was found with both hands and legs tied.
Mrs Katongo said Police have instituted investigations in all the reports of murder involving mobs and all those that will be found to have taken part in any of these cases including those of damaging both private and public property will be arrested and prosecuted.
And in Bauleni Compound in Lusaka, a group of youthful thugs mobilised themselves, blocked some roads by burning tyres and looted one shop in the area.
She said Police have apprehended three suspects and some stolen items have been recovered with the suspects in police custody.
Mrs Katongo said Police have observed that criminals are now taking advantage of the insecurity in communities as a result of alleged acts of chemical spraying.
She has urged members of the public to always examine situations as failure to do so will lead to criminals using them to advance their criminal acts.