BELOW IS A POLICE STATEMENT
15TH FEBRUARY, 2020 – THE security situation as regards reports received from the public on instances of malicious administering of chemical substance have reduced. Most of the reports received from various communities within Lusaka have not yet verified as purported victims are being found in a stable condition whenever officers respond to reports. However we 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.
In both circumstances, Criminals are reported to have gotten to the rooftops of the houses , lifted iron sheets and sprayed the chemical inside houses. Victims are reported to have become unconscious and all victims were rushed to Chipata level 1 hospital for medical attention. Three victims were recorded in these attacks.
In Kanyama, a report of chemical spraying was received in the early hours of today, 15th February, 2020 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 bluish substance was found on the motor vehicle with four empty plastic bottles.
People surrendered the suspects to police and did not cause any damage to the motor vehicle. The suspects are in police custody while the chemical substance will be taken for analysis.
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. They 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.
Police managed to contain the situation and engaged civic leaders to sensitive the youth involved. Police are monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, 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 . The same were rushed to a health facility for medical attention.
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.
As Zambia Police we 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.
The mob also went to Chipwalu Police Post in an attempt to set the police post on fire but were repelled by officers.
In Kanyama’s Kanono area , a female adult was stoned to death by a mob around 2200 hours on suspicion of chemical spraying.
The body is in UTH mortuary.
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. The body is in UTH.
We 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.
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. Police have apprehended three suspects and some stolen items have been recovered. The suspects are in police custody.
We have observed that criminals are now taking advantage of the insecurity in communities as a result of alleged acts of chemical spraying. We therefore urge members of the public to always examine situations as failure to do so will lead to criminals using them to advance their criminal acts.
ESTHER MWAATA KATONGO
ZAMBIA POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER