Police have arrested two suspects in Lusaka allegedly connected to the gassing of houses when one of them tried to pepper-spray unsuspecting residents in Chudleigh area.

And Deputy Inspector General of Police Bonny Kapeso says the service is aware that people are living in fear, hence the decision to put up measures to ensure citizens are protected at all times.

During a media briefing in Lusaka, Tuesday, Kapeso said a total of 13 suspects allegedly connected to the gassing incidences have so far been arrested.

“I would like to confirm that from the time police officers did arrest seven suspects in Chingola on the Copperbelt, I am glad now to confirm that the number has risen to 13. We had apprehended seven on the Copperbelt. In the couple of days again, we did arrest four more who are undergoing serious interrogations and as at Sunday, we have also arrested 2 more criminals in Lusaka. And these two criminals, for purposes of identity, we are withholding their identity because investigations are still active and we don’t want to alarm the situation. Two criminals were nabbed in Chudleigh,” Kapeso said.

“Between 12 and 13 hours, these criminal went to Chudleigh, to someone’s house and pretended that he was looking for an Indian friend but upon being quizzed as to why exactly he was there, he could not give an account and resorted to pepper spraying the complainant. After serious interrogations, it was therefore revealed that there was another suspect who was in a named lodged near Cosmopolitan Mall along Kafue road. Police officers, with velocity, went there and picked up the other suspect. So what we have as for today, we have 13 suspects in connection with gassing and pepper spraying respectively.”

He, however, bemoaned the damage done to a lodge in Zingalume, Tuesday, where the building was damaged and property stolen after residents suspected that the meeting that was taking place at the named lodge was connected to the gassing incidences recorded in the city.

“Suffice also to mention the fact that in Zingalume today (Tuesday), officials from Ministry of Health, in collaboration with one named NGO, were having sensitization exercises which is to do with counselling in a named lodge as well. People suspected that since people were being subjected to giving out blood, they suspected that those people were part of the people that we are looking for as police and descended on them, destroying the lodge and various items were stolen. As police, we wish to warn members of the public that let us please leave the job of interrogations to people that are competently trained to handle such issues and these are the members of the Zambia Police Service.”

He further called on the media to be professional and always ensure that they publish confirmed information as opposed to alarming the public.

“And especially, I would urge members of the press, headlines also tell something, when you say ritual killers are here, the person that gets the information thinks that these are ritual killers and no one wants to hear about a ritual killer so the press could do better…instead of you just getting information on phone, physically go and confirm and you can only confirm professionally either from the police or the hospital where such persons could have been subjected to treatment. I think that’s my professional understanding of reporting,” Kapeso said.

And Kapeso promised that the police will not disappoint the citizens in ensuring that the criminals acts are stopped.

“We know that people’s expectations are high and this is why the Commissioner of Police for Lusaka Province is here so that you can look at him and this confirms that the office of the Inspector General of Police under Mr Kakoma Kanganja is not simply sitting idle. We have taken all reasonable measures that we could to ensure that people are protected and we will not let you down,” said Kapeso.