POLICE in Maamba arrest 25 more residents in connection with recent riots

Deputy Inspector General of Police Solomon Jere
Deputy Inspector General of Police Solomon Jere
POLICE in Maamba area in Sinazongwe District have arrested 25 more residents in connection with recent riots that rocked the area following a suspected ritual killing of a 24-year-old local woman.

Carol Mweemba, who went missing two weeks earlier, was murdered and had her private parts and part of her left breast removed.

On Wednesday last week, 63 residents were arrested for riotous behaviour bringing the total number of those arrested to 88.

The 63 appeared in a Choma magistrate’s court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to riotous behaviour and causing malicious damage to property.

Southern Province Police chief Charity Katanga said various goods worth more than K12, 000 among them a 42 inch plasma television set, solar panels and clothes looted from shops during the riot residents had been recovered.

Ms Katanga said in an interview yesterday that out of the 25 suspects, 14 were in police custody in Choma, while 11 were still detained in Maamba.

She said the suspects were expected to appear in the Choma magistrate court today and tomorrow, adding that those suspects had been charged with various offences.

“We have arrested 25 more rioters who are in police custody in Choma and in Maamba and they are expected to appear in a Choma court today and tomorrow,” she said.

The latest 25 suspects were charged with various offences such as assault occasioning bodily harm, entering into a building and committing a felony there in and causing malicious damage to property.

Among the suspects, some were arrested on Monday this week, while others were rounded up at the weekend.

She said among those arrested, was a Mr Ng’ombe, 37, of House Number 27, Maamba Township who assaulted a Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) journalist during the fracas.

“We have males and females who are in police custody but they face different offences,” Ms Katanga said.

She warned that police would not tolerate criminality and anarchy in the province and would also not hesitate to apprehend those taking the law into their own hands.

Carol’s murder sparked the riot and in the process, four Police officers were injured, while some household goods from Sinazongwe District Commissioner (DC) Dodo Sindaza’s home were destroyed.

Ms Katanga said, though calm had returned to Maamba, police officers would continue to monitor the situation and warned that those found wanting would be arrested.