Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says he has constituted a team of officers to work in collaboration with ZICTA to clamp down on people circulating false and alarming information on social media that there are ritual killings in Zambia.
And Kanganja says more police officer have been deployed to Chilubi to enhance security ahead of next weeks’s by election.
In a statement, Monday, Kanganja discouraged citizens from employing instant mob justice, saying that gave criminals a fertile ground to advance their criminal activities.
“I wish to state that my command has noted with grave concern the growing trend by some members of the public taking the law into their own hands following a spate of gassing of people in communities and some killings that have characterized some parts of our country in the recent past. Incidents of instant mob justice so far experienced have unfortunately led to loss of innocent people’s lives and have also given criminals a fertile ground to advance their criminal motives. In the process, we have witnessed situations where government property as well as innocent individuals’ property being damaged such as police stations and posts, houses and vehicles as has been seen in some districts on the Copperbelt and North-Western Provinces,” read the statement
“I have constituted a team of officers working in collaboration with ZICTA to clamp down on people circulating false and alarming information through social media. So far, some people have been arrested and will appear in Court soon while in other instances, investigations have advanced. In this light, I wish to make an earnest and timely appeal to members of the public to avoid at, all costs, taking the law into their own hands. In instances where members of the public suspect any person of being involved in criminal acts, they are obliged by law to report such a suspected person or persons to the police and not to commit instant mob justice. And once a person is arrested, members of the public are advised to have confidence in the Police. There are processes and investigations that are done to ensure that a water tight case is established against such a person which should lead to securing a conviction before the courts of law.”
He said damaging property would not be condoned.
“Acts of violence to an extent where people vent their anger by damaging government and individual properties are alien to Zambia and as such should not be condoned. In the case of damaged police stations or posts, people should bear in mind that total absence of security breeds indiscriminate criminal activities leaving people exposed to criminal activities. Note that police structures are put up by government at a very huge cost. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to work in close collaboration and trust so that we together eradicate crime through police/community partnership,” Kanganja sated.
And Kanganja said it was unfortunate that people were inciting violence as the election was getting closer.
“On the Chilubi by-election, I wish to state that the campaigns started at a very good and peaceful note. However, it is saddening that as we get closer to the polls, some pockets of people have been fanning violence. I therefore appeal to all political actors to be tolerant, co-exist and conduct their campaigns within the confines of the law. I further wish to inform the electorate in Chilubi that more police officers have been deployed to enhance security during the whole electoral process. I wish to warn that all those perpetuating violence will not be spared and those found wanting will be dealt with in accordance with the law. I have instructed all officers countrywide to be very firm but fair as they execute their duties to restore peace and order in the country,” stated Kanganja.