Meanwhile, three more people have died in Lusaka following mob attacks on suspicion of being part of the gang terrorising residents through gassing.
And two more people have died in other parts of the country, one in Kabwe and another in Chiengi, on mere suspicions of being criminals.
Police Public Relations officer Esther Mwaata Katongo has stated in a statement today that the “unruly” groupings who armed themselves with offensive weapons were moving in communities on the pretext of patrolling but end up harassing innocent people, of which some have died in an instant mob justice.
She has however observed a positive reduction of mob justice incidences within Lusaka, although there were still some concerns.
“We continue appealing to members of the public to always restrain themselves from taking part in instant mob justice. Compared to yesterday, we have observed a positive reduction of mob justice incidences within Lusaka although we still have some concerns. We therefore, call upon all stakeholders in the fight against crime to continue preaching peace and discourage instant mob justice,” Katongo stated.
She added that even in instances where there is overwhelming evidence that someone committed or was about to commit an offence, it remains unlawful for people to take the law into their own hands.
Katongo revealed that two men who were lynched by mob yesterday in different incidents have died.
“Three people were lynched by mobs in separate incidents in Matero’s Katambalala area, Zingalume and Hill side area and were only rescued by the joint patrol team of officers. However, one male adult among those rescued aged between 40 and 45 years who was attacked in Hill side area only identified as Emmanuel later died in Matero Level 1 Hospital around 02:00 hours. The body has been taken to UTH mortuary awaiting identification and postmortem. One suspect has been arrested and investigations have continued,” she stated.
“Another male person aged between 30 and 35 years was murdered by a mob yesterday around 21:20 hours in Chikondano area on suspicion of chemical spraying. The body is in UTH mortuary.”
Katongo stated that police in Lusaka have picked a body of an unidentified man suspected to have been murdered and burnt by a mob on suspicion of being one of people spraying chemicals.
She stated that the incident is alleged to have happened between 04:30 hours and 05:00 hours at Mponda village, 10 kilometers from Kasisi School. Katongo stated that the remains of the victim are in UTH mortuary.
She further stated that cases of chemical spraying were received from different places in Lusaka.
“Four reports of chemical spraying were received from Matero with a total of 16 victims. These cases were recorded from George compound, Salima road in Kasamba area and Chunga Dumpsite area. Emmasdale Police recorded three reports of chemical spraying with seven victims. These reports were received from Chazanga and Chipata overspill,” Katongo stated.
She has, however, stated that most of the reports received by many other police stations involving chemical spraying could not be verified as in some instances, people raised alarm due to fear.
Yesterday in Katende area, a mob descended on a mental patient of Kanakantapa area whom they suspected of being among people gassing homes with toxic chemicals.
He was rescued by a member of the neighbourhood watch who was also assaulted on accusations that he was protecting a criminal.
Police officers rushed to the scene to rescue the victims and later, relatives of the victim produced documentation to prove that he was a mental patient.
In Kabwe, Central Province, an unidentified man aged about 37 years has been murdered by a mob and the body was picked from Katondo Primary School premises with a burnt face and fingers. This happened around 23:50 hours.
Police in Kabwe received seven reports of gassing in Pollen, High Ridge, and Ngungu areas in which victims were referred to health facilities for medical attention while Mumbwa district recorded eight reports which are still unverified.
In Mabumba area of Luapula Province, a mental patient was assaulted along Samfya road by a mob on mere suspicion and was only rescued by police officers. He survived with injuries.
In Chiengi District near the border, an unidentified male person aged between 50 and 60 years was yesterday around 21:00 hours murdered by a mob .
Officers who went to pick the body were blocked by youths who obstructed the road and police fired tear gas canisters to disperse them.
“And in continued investigations with a view of bringing criminals behind the killing of suspects in chemical spraying and malicious damage to property, police in Matero have so far arrested two suspects in a report of malicious damage in which a motor vehicle Toyota Land cruiser was damaged by a mob in Lusaka 11th February, 2020 on suspicion that occupants were among people spraying chemicals while in instant mob justice related deaths, one suspect is in custody,” Katongo stated.
Meanwhile, Eastern Province also had some reports of chemical spraying and victims were issued with medical report forms and police are still waiting for the signed reports from the victims.
Police have also intensified investigations in reports of malicious administering of poison with intent to harm (chemical spraying) and the charge attracts 14 years imprisonment upon conviction.
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