Friday, September 07, 2012

Govt warns wanting Chambishi cops

Govt warns wanting Chambishi cops
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Fri 07 Sep. 2012, 10:15 CAT

HOME affairs deputy minister Ngosa Simbyakula has warned that all officers found wanting in the manner they handled the Chambishi riots will be punished. And Simbyakula is this week expected on the Copperbelt to review how police officers handled the riots.

This follows Copperbelt Province minister Mwenya Musenge's demand to transfer all police officers at Chambishi Police Station for alleged negligence following the riots that rocked Chambishi last Friday in which four people were killed and property worth millions of kwacha was looted.

Musenge has demanded the transfer of police officers from Chambishi because they had allegedly been not alert, hence the outbreak of the riots which led to the loss of four lives.

Musenge said police in the township were informed about plans by residents of Zambia township to kill some businessmen and their relatives but did not act quickly to avert the situation.

According to a statement by Ministry of Home Affairs head of public relations Moses Suwali, Dr Simbyakula said the trip to the Copperbelt was to review and appreciate for himself how police officers handled the situation during the riots, after which a decision would be made.

Dr Simbyakula said that whilst on the Copperbelt he would meet Musenge, the provincial commissioner of police Mary Tembo and other heads of departments under his ministry so as to discuss the issue in depth.

He said he did not want to rush to transfer officers before gathering facts and appreciating clearly what was on the ground but warned that all officers found wanting in the manner they handled "this unfortunate incident" would be punished according to administrative provisions under the police Act Cap 107 in addition to transfers.

He also warned members of the public to desist from taking the law into their own hands because it was a serious crime. "The scourge is slowly getting rooted in this country and hence we need to quickly stamp it out before many lives are lost," said Dr Simbyakula.

He said his ministry deeply regretted the loss of lives and damage to property resulting from the riotous behaviour.

Over 100 residents were arrested in Chambishi in connection with the riot and looting of property that ensued. Those arrested have been charged and are appearing in court in Kitwe.

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