Residents of Middle West compound in Lusaka West On Monday set a Toyota Corolla ablaze on suspicions that the owner was behind a suspected gassing incident.

In a statement, Tuesday, Police spokesperson Esther Katongo stated that the driver of the said Corolla managed to escape from the vehicle before it was burnt.

“In the early hours of today, 11th February, 2020 around 02:00 hours, a Toyota Corolla with unknown registration number was burnt by a mob in Middle West in Lusaka after suspecting the occupants to be behind the gassing. However, the driver of the same motor vehicle managed to escape. On the same night, another Toyota Corolla white in color which was booked from Matero driven by Raymond Nkhoma aged 25 of Matero had its front and rear windscreen damaged by a mob,” Katongo stated.

“Also recorded was an attack on Wilson Shiyachele aged 34 of Mumbwa who was beaten by a mob on similar suspicions and sustained deep cuts in the head and a swollen face. This occurred on 11th February, 2020 around 01 30 hours. He was however rescued by a joint patrol team of police officers and neighborhood watch members and was rushed to Hospital.”

Katongo warned Lusaka residents to desist from descending on innocent people suspected to be behind the alleged gassing.

“We want to remind members of the public that whenever they apprehend any suspected criminal, they should surrender them to police to allow police officers to investigate the allegations. As Zambia Police, we wish to appeal to members of the public to avoid at all cost taking the law in to their own hands in the advent of the prevailing alleged gassing of households in Lusaka. We also wish to dismiss information circulating that nine people have died in Lusaka as a result of gassing hence members of the public should ignore such information and should treat it as false news,” stated Katongo.

“We reiterate the earlier position stated by the Inspector General of Police in his statement earlier issued that Police officers are on the ground with a view of verifying reports of gassing which have been received so far from members of the public. Police have not ignored the reports from members of the public and have already launched investigations in the matter. As a preventive measure, Command has increased on the number of police officers deployed in areas where incidences of the alleged gassing have been reported and have placed all other areas on high security alert.”