TWENTY-FIVE girls of Chama Boarding Secondary School have sustained injuries in a stampede after their 19-year-old expelled school-mate emerged and deployed a stream of pepper spray on them while they were having an entertainment show in a packed school hall.
And police in Kitwe have arrested 17 Copperbelt University (CBU) students for riotous behaviour over unpaid meal allowances.
The boy identified as Mwiya Kalumina allegedly stole the pepper spray from his elder brother, a police constable of Chama Police Station, who had reportedly travelled to Lusaka on duty.
Muchinga Province commissioner of police Auxensio Daka and Ministry of General Education public relations officer Hillary Chipango said in separate interviews yesterday that the incident happened on Saturday around 20:30 hours.
Mr Daka said Chama Boarding Secondary School head teacher Emma Mutawale reported to police that the pupils, who comprised boys and girls, were having entertainment in the school hall when Kalumiana allegedly entered and squeezed the pepper spray.
“Mwiya Kalumiana, the expelled pupil, appeared and entered the school and squeezed the pepper spray [streamer] on the pupils and this caused fear, panic and stampede amongst the pupils,” Mr Daka said.
He said 25 girls sustained swollen eyes, painful noses and chest pains after being trampled upon during the stampede.
He said the girls were admitted to Chama Hospital and that they are out of danger.
Mr Daka said police have arrested and detained Kalumiana.
“The boy stole the streamer from his elder brother’s house, who was at the time in Lusaka for national duties. We cannot arrest the police officer [Kalumiana’s older brother] because he is innocent. He was issued with the streamer to keep at home,” Mr Daka said.
And Mr Chipango said Kalumiana was expelled from school after he was allegedly found in possession of cannabis.
And HONE SIAME reports that police in Kitwe yesterday arrested 17 CBU students for riotous behaviour.
The students were apprehended after they engaged police in skirmishes in protest over unpaid meal allowances.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga said in an interview yesterday that of the 17 students, 15 are male.
Ms Katanga said windscreens of two police vehicles were shattered in the fracas.
She said the students are detained at Riverside Police Station and that they will appear in court for riotous behaviour and causing damage to property.
She said the police command will not condone riotous behaviour by CBU students.
“We have arrested 17 students for riotous behaviour and causing damage to school and police property. We don’t know their intentions. Those arrested will appear in court,” Ms Katanga said.