Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga says residents should at all times avoid engaging in riotous behavior that destroys public property.
Kawama residents in Ndola on Monday evening fought running battles with the police after Zambia National Service (ZNS) officers shot dead a resident accused of smuggling mealie-meal.
Stephen Banda, 35, was shot by ZNS officers manning the area in Kawama township in Ndola when he ignored their command that he stops the mealie-meal laden vehicle he was driving.
Following the shooting, residents rioted and destroyed public property.
Business at Kawama market and other parts of the Township came to a stand still as several residents and some marketeers participated in showing their displeasure over the killing.
No one has, however, been arrested for rioting, Katanga has said.
She said riots should be the last resort.
“We want to encourage our residents to avoid engaging in riotous activities. When aggrieved, you can’t resort to destroying public property. That should not be the way to go,” said Katanga.
And Kawama ward councillor Cephas Mwelwa, who was accused of having instructed ZNS officers to shoot residents suspected to be engaged in smuggling, said he has been telling ZNS officers not to man-handle residents because most of them have their fields in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He said the residents should not take the law into their own hands.
“I have been fighting for the people that others do their farming activities in the DRC land. I speak for them. They need to be patriotic with their country and avoid engaging in illegal activities,” Mwelwa said.
He wondered how he could instruct the officers to shoot and kill a resident whom he said was not even a Kawama resident but from Chifubu Township.
“It’s not true, how can a civilian instruct a millitary poersonnel? I’m just a small person who has no influence, those people get instructions from the President who is their Commander in Chief and the Minister of Defense,” Mwelwa said.