IRATE Chimwemwe residents in Kitwe have looted two Chinese shops in a riot which was sparked off after word went round that a Chinese national had shot a Zambian female shop assistant.
The incident occurred around 20:00 hours on Friday in the sprawling township after a Chinese man accidentally shot and wounded a female worker.
Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer Charity Katanga confirmed the shooting incident which happened when Goam Ming aged 42 accidentally fired a pistol on Royda Mumba on her right ankle.
The incident happened when Mr Goam’s pistol, a BFZN 775, accidentally went off and hit Mumba a shop assistant at Yuchem Investment.
Ms Katanga said the victim was rushed to Kitwe Teaching Hospital (KTH) and was admitted to Out-Patient Department while Mr Goan was immediately detained at Riverside Police Station.
“After the shooting incident, people thought the Chinese had killed a Zambian and hence the angry crowd started throwing stones and looted the shop. Police quickly moved in and dispersed the mob and kept vigil.
“Upon seeing this, between 20.00hours and 21.00 hours, the mob moved to another Chinese shop in Nakadoli market at Xingmei Supermarket which was not yet closed and owned by by Aimi Yan aged 45. They damaged the front metal door and four windows, looted property whose value was not yet known,’’ Ms Katanga said.
There was confusion and rampaging while motorists drove back to the Kitwe-Chingola road while other shop owners closed their premises.
Police were re-enforced but the confusion left some people who were fleeing from the looting injured.
A 16-year-old girl was apprehended as she was running away with a new electric cable along with a man who was trying to make off with two plastic basins suspected to have been looted.
Yesterday, a Daily Nation reporter joined police and other officials to view the footage on the closed circuit television which was reviewed in the morning.
The CCTV camera was watched by officers from the Zambia Police, the father of the wounded girl, Buntungwa ward Councillor William Nyirenda and Chimwemwe ward Councillor Sebastian Munkonge.
The footage showed that Mr Goan’s pistol accidentally went off as he was holding it.
According to the CCTV camera, Mr Goan had removed the magazine, but when he was trying to put it back, the bullet which remained in the chamber accidentally went off.
And Vice-President of the Zambia Chinese Association Wang Xin said he would issue a stern warning to Chinese nationals who were in the habit of handling guns in public.
Mr Wang said incidences of Chinese nationals mishandling firearms must come to an end because it was sending a wrong signal and could negatively affect the Zambia-China relationship.
“Stories of Chinese wounding Zambians while playing with guns are not sending a good message. This is why I need to talk to my brothers to stop. At a time people are talking bad things about the Zambia-China relationship, we need to prove them wrong.
“Yes, we have to prove them wrong by being good to each other, but if we have incidences where Chinese are playing with guns, then it is sad. This must come to an end,” Mr Wang said.