Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has refuted reports of suspected gassing in Lusaka.

And Kanganja says police are now aware of the exact chemical which criminals are using but they will not announce it so as not to alert other offenders.

Yesterday, state-owned Zambia Daily Mail reported that “nine members of one family in Lusaka’s George Township had became the latest victims of an apparently well-orchestrated scheme of gassing people in homes at night”.

But in a statement, Monday, Kanganja refuted this report, saying claims of gassing in the city had not yet been verified.

“In as much as the Zambia Police in Lusaka have received reports of gassing from members of the public, which claims are yet to be verified, I wish to dismiss information circulating on social media in which it is being insinuated that most parts of Lusaka have been affected by the gassing. When complaints of alleged gassing were received by police in Lusaka, officers went on the ground to verify the reports and are still inquiring on the same reports,” Kanganja stated.

“In view of similar occurrences being recorded in some parts of the country, my advice to members of the public across the country is for them to be security conscious and work in collaboration with the police in safeguarding their respective communities. Police are working round the clock to see to it that all perpetrators of this crime are brought to book. From the time this crime emanated, some suspects have been apprehended of which some are currently appearing in the courts of law while investigations have continued with a view of apprehending all those involved in this heinous crime. I urge all members of the community who could have security concerns in their communities to seek audience with Officers in Charge of Police Stations so that the concerns are quickly addressed.”

And Kanganja said police had concluded tests on the chemicals which criminals were using but that this information would be withheld.

“I also wish to inform the general public that results of chemicals being used in gassing households are out, however, my Command has decided not to announce the chemical for security reasons. Announcing the chemical may mean giving information to other criminals. I fully understand the fear in members of the public concerning the current occurrences and my appeal to them is that they remain calm as the police are doing everything possible to avert the situation,” stated Kanganja.

“Further, I appeal to members of the public to avoid taking the law into their own hands but report or surrender any suspected persons to law enforcement officers. I wish to reiterate that the Zambia Police Service is doing everything possible to establish the motive behind this crime and ensure that all perpetrators who include those orchestrating the crime are brought to book. The Zambia Police will be giving updates to the public just like we have always been doing on the occurrences as well as security tips.”