Editor's Comment

Stop those attacks

POLICE apprehend one of the rioter in Zingalume Township on Tuesday. PICTURE: CHANDA MWENYA

RIOTS that erupted in some parts of Lusaka on Monday as a protest against continued ritual murders are not and can never be a solution.
Actually the riotous behaviour exhibited by some residents where they looted shops belonging to some foreigners is utter criminality which should not be condoned by law enforcement agencies and all peace-loving Zambians.
While we are taken aback by the barbaric killings of innocent people in our townships, no-one has the right to take the law into their own hands.
Some residents ran amok after unsubstantiated word went round that a named foreigner running a grocery was involved in the ritual killings.
The enraged residents looted his shop getting away with groceries and fridges before pouncing on another shop. There was a spill-over effect in most high-density townships.
It is unthinkable that rioters ripped off the roofs to gain access into some shops, and got away with television sets, generator sets and radio sets among other goods.
There is no correlation between ritual killing and looting apart from the fact that both are crimes.
It is so obvious that the masterminds of the riots are criminals who are just exploiting the situation to disguise their evil acts. These are simply lazy people attempting to reap where they did not sow.
It is unfortunate that the businesses people worked so hard to build over a period of time could be brought down in a day by criminals.
Zambians should appreciate that investors, whether small-scale or large-scale, are providing a service to the people in the communities by ensuring that goods are within reach.
Instead of antagonising these people, Zambians should be drawing lessons from their business acumen.
These are people who have been able to identify business opportunities where locals have failed to do so.
Zambians have won international acclaim for being accommodating and peaceful and nothing that works to reverse these virtues should be allowed.
The behaviour by these thugs acting under the guise of aggrieved citizens is despicable and can ruin the reputation the country has built over five decades.
It is our hope that the police are already working to bring the culprits to book – both killers and rioters.
That is the only way to deter people from taking the law into their own hands.
The police should send a clear and firm message to all residents that no-one will be allowed to abrogate the law regardless of the situation.
We also urge the police to ensure that investigations into the ritual killings, which have claimed eight lives so far, are expedited and culprits brought to book.
It is also our hope that during investigations, the police will at appropriate intervals furnish the public with adequate information to avoid speculation among the general public.
Police, being experts, are expected to know which information can be released to the public without jeopardising investigations.
However, before they are ready to give any update, the police should handle information they come across cautiously to avoid any possible leakages.
While the police are working around the clock to curb these ritual killings, there is need for other stakeholders such as the church to come on board and offer prayers to halt these evil acts.
It is the wish of every innocent Zambian to see to it that the ritual killers are brought to book, as President Lungu directed.
However, in the process of doing so, let us not hurt innocent people, whether locals or foreigners.
Let’s remember that Zambia has its citizens in other countries and we would not want them to be subjected to such inhuman treatment.

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