Over 3,000 bags of maize were looted from a maize stack believed to be connected to the recently slain Mumbwa businessman, Ernest Sikaonga, also known as Yakaipa. The looting occurred in the Itezhi Tezhi District, with reports indicating that a group of individuals descended on the central business district along the Lusaka road between 8:00 PM and 1:00 AM last night, making off with hundreds of bags of maize valued at thousands of kwachas.
Member of Parliament for Itezhi Tezhi, Twaambo Mutinta, confirmed the incident and revealed that efforts to restore calm were hampered by the delay in bringing in security forces. However, reinforcements from Namwala, Choma, and officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife ultimately helped to restore order by midnight.
Mr. Mutinta assured the public that no lives were lost during the incident, and the situation in Itezhi Tezhi is now stable. He also issued a stern warning against those who might attempt to exploit the volatile situation in Mumbwa to engage in criminal activities, emphasizing that the government would not tolerate such behavior.
Speaking on the matter, Mr. Mutinta stated, “What has happened in Itezhi-Tezhi is very unfortunate and should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians.”
He went on to inform the public that the local police had already recovered 200 bags of stolen maize during house searches in Masemu. Additionally, 27 suspects have been apprehended to aid in ongoing investigations.
In an effort to clarify any misconceptions, Mr. Mutinta emphasized that the looted maize had no connection to the aforementioned individual, Ernest Sikaonga (Yakaipa), but instead belonged to Mr. Chikalala, a local businessman.
Mr. Mutinta issued a plea to the community, urging them to abstain from criminal activities, as the police would continue conducting searches, and those found in possession of stolen maize would face legal consequences.
The lawmaker concluded by appealing to any aggrieved community members to allow the legal process to take its course, reaffirming the importance of upholding the rule of law in the face of adversity.