MAAMBA residents in Sinazongwe yesterday ran riot destroying property, among them seven police houses and vehicles, after a woman who suspiciously went missing three weeks ago was discovered dead in a sewer manhole with parts of her body maimed.
The residents have accused police of not handling the investigations into the matter well. Police have detained 63 in connection with the riot.
The violent protest, which resulted into looting of shops and burning of some houses, is in connection with the recovery of Caroline Mweemba’s body, whom the residents suspect could have been killed by her lover.
It is alleged that the suspect in the matter, who was last seen with Ms Mweemba, was earlier detained but later released.
Southern Province commissioner of police Charity Katanga has appealed to the residents to desist from resorting to riotous behaviour when aggrieved.
She said in an interview yesterday that police have detained 63 residents in connection with the riotous behaviour.
“On September 15, 2013, a lady by the name of Caroline Mweemba, 24, of Goldground in Maamba went missing but on Monday, September 30, her body was retrieved from a sewerage manhole.
On the night she went missing, it’s believed that her boyfriend ferried her at her home, where her neighbours allegedly heard her insulting,” Mrs Katanga said.
She said Ms Mweemba was on Monday found dead with parts of her body missing.
“At around 01:00 hours today (Wednesday), the people that gathered at Ms Mweemba’s funeral, whose burial was slated for today, started planning to march to the police and protest but were persuaded not to do.
“But at about 06:00 hours, the residents, who were at the mortuary, mobilised themselves and went to the police station and stoned the buildings. They also stoned the State pathologist who went to conduct a post-mortem and an inspector also suffered bruises during the fracas,” Mrs Katanga said.
She said the angry residents also shuttered a windscreen of a police vehicle and burnt a house belonging to a man they suspect to have killed Ms Mweemba.
“Three police vehicles were extensively damaged and the riotous residents proceeded to the police camp where they stoned seven houses…two houses belonging to civilians were burnt and one shop was looted,” Mrs Katanga said.
She said 63 residents have since been arrested for riotous behaviour, of whom 49 are male while 14 are female.
And in a separate interview, Sinazongwe district commissoner Dodo Sindaza said his house was also broken into and looted.