Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says there are no ritual killings both on the Copperbelt and in North-Western Province and the unrest in those areas is being caused by people who are acting on falsehoods.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on North-Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu, Monday, Kampyongo said the only problem obtaining on the ground was that some petty criminals were going round spraying different substances in households.
“We need to deal with is the issue of the falsehoods that are flying around and in the processes getting our people to take laws into their own hands. As the ministry, through the Zambia Police, we have not recorded ritual killings on the Copperbelt where I came from, and even here, I have heard people attacking others for being suspects of ritual murders, we have not recorded any case here in North-Western Province. What is being dealt with by the Zambia Police is the incidences of these petty criminals who are going round spraying different substances in people’s homes,” Kampyongo said.
“On the Copperbelt where I came from, the situation is under control and of course we recorded one murder case which was an ordinary murder. The killings that we have had in the Copperbelt largely are as a result of mere suspicions. I can give you one case we had in Chililabombwe where people who were partners differed in a home and a female partner who had a child with this gentleman cries loud to the neighborhood and says ‘this is a ritual suspect and the mob descended on this gentleman and unfortunately he lost his life. And here in your province what is trending is mere falsehoods and I am yet to visit the police station that was destroyed by this falsehood. But what I am emphasizing to the members of the public is let the police do their work. All what they can do is to report where they see anything suspicions.”
Kampyongo said there was need for stakeholders in the province to sensitize members of the public on what was happening.
“We are on the ground and we have come with the Deputy Inspector General who is in the field because we have received a few disturbances just here in Solwezi. I’m told there’s a suspect who was pounced on by members of the public at some school I am yet to get details. In Manyama area where we are yet to go, I am told people are agitating for violence. Yesterday they went into an area called Kisasa [and] public property was [destroyed], I am told there was a bus carrying passengers. So we are depending on the administration, yourself and all stakeholders we put our heads together to try and sensitize the people, our parents the chiefs also need to take keen interest in what is obtaining on the ground and the Church leaders as well,” said Kampyongo.
And Mubukwanu said the unrest as a result of suspected ritual killings was a setback to development.
“I want to believe that the media have the major stake to play in getting the correct information out. As long as the media are going to remain sensational, reporting things not the way they are, this problem will not stop. The unfortunate part is we are building a culture of thriving on false hoods which is not helping us in anyway because all these current happenings are a major setbacks on all our development efforts in the province. As we speak now, people are not able to carry out their normal duties, people are beginning to live in fear,” said Mubukwanu.