AN arresting officer has testified in a case where 18 people from Lusaka’s Kanyama and Makeni Villa areas have been dragged to court on charges of riotous behaviour.

The accused: Clement Lwabila; Saidi Miti; Micheal Bailack; Mark Kapalu; Lovemore Siajitunta; Cephas Mulayi; Rodgers Mwape; Harrison Mwalusaka; Joseph Phiri; Peter Kindalo; Martin Ngulube; Alex Phiri; Simon Mumba; Clinton Ngube; Shadrick Mulongo; Bruce Mwelwa; Benson Mwansa and Point Mwanza, aged between 20 and 40 years of age, have been charged with one count of riotous behaviour, injuring buildings, contrary to Section 82 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

Allegations are that on February 13, 2020, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown and being in riotous assembly, the 18 accused persons unlawfully damaged a house number M18 in Kanyama Police Camp and a motor vehicle, namely, Toyota Land Cruiser registration ZP 2116B, the property of Zambia Police.

When the matter came up for trial before Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Inspector Bridget Katongo of Kanyama Police narrated that around 04:00 hours on the material day, she heard riotous noises and a whistle from one of the officers at the station calling for reinforcements.

She noted that as she rushed to the station, she found a group of more than 100 people unruly people burning tyres and throwing stones at the police station situated along Kalusha Bwalya road.

She described the situation as very unruly as some rioters damaged house number M8 of Kanyama Police Camp, and a Toyota Land Cruiser registration number ZP2116B, which was carrying officers from other police stations, who had come in to help quell the situation.

Katongo then noted that around 09:00 hours, she, with the help of other officers, apprehended three of the accused rioters, who she alleges were part of the crowd that was throwing stones at the house.

She added that at the time of their arrest, they had thrown their weapons and were running away as the police were forced to use teargas to disperse the crowds that were rioting for what is believed to be a whole day.

But during cross-examination, Katongo could not categorically state that she saw the three that she apprehended during the riot as she could not remember what they were wearing and noted that she only apprehended them because they were running after the teargas was thrown at the crowd.

The matter has since been adjourned to a later date for continuation of trial and the accused remain remanded in custody.