By MOFFAT CHAZINGWA –
THE Police command has instituted investigations into the University of Zambia (UNZA) fracas to establish the extent of force that was applied by officers deplored to quell the riots.
Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani said police could have used force to quell the protest because the situation had degenerated into chaos as students started destructing public property.
Ms Libongani who was reacting to a report by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) that police last Friday used excessive force in quelling the riots said in interview that her officers had an
obligation to install law and order at the campus.
“What they must realise is that police are there to ensure law and order and when you have a situation where students start attacking innocent people throwing stones at motorists, it calls for quick intervention,” Ms Libongani said.
She said not withstanding that, investigations had been instituted to establish the extent of force police officers who were on the ground could have used to quell the riots.
Ms Libongani said if established that officers on the ground went beyond their limit and used excessive force in quelling the riots, disciplinary action would be taken against the involved culprits.
Police last Friday fought running battles at the UNZA Great East Road campus with students who were protesting against delayed payment of meal allowances.
One student, Lizwe Ndhlovu, who is said to have jumped out of a moving police vehicle, was left admitted at the University Teaching Hospital after being injured.
The HRC has since condemned the police action accusing them of having used excessive force in quelling the riots.
Times of Zambia