IRATE citizens yesterday burnt down Nyimba Police Post in Eastern Province after some officers rescued a member of the public suspected of being involved in a gassing incident from lynching.
Eastern Province Deputy Police Commissioner Geoffrey Kunda confirmed this to News Diggers in an interview, Tuesday, saying a man, whose name he could not disclose, was suddenly surrounded by a mob after being suspected of carrying chemicals in his back pack.
“Yes, we had some disturbance in Nyimba this (Tuesday) morning. This followed a suspicion where someone who was carrying a lap top bag in public and just passing by was suspected to be one of those, who are doing this gassing, he was suspected of carrying some spraying chemicals in his bag. So, that’s how the residents started mobilizing themselves around 10:00 hours and started to beat him! This person was just rescued by police officers who took him away. A search on him and his bag actually didn’t even reveal any of the suspected chemicals he was accused of carrying. So, those people, now, because they were angry, they continued demanding that they wanted to see that person and see what he was carrying and maybe deal with that accordingly. From there, people started throwing stones at the police station. The police station was brunt down and everything in it was damaged,” Kunda narrated.
“But around 11:00 hours, the situation returned to normal. Of course, there are some people who are still panicking because they are scared but from my assessment as a security person, the situation in Nyimba is under control and there is no one who has died there. Only a few items in the police post have been burnt down.”
And Kunda called on members of the public to stop taking the law into their own hands and allow the police to do their job.
“The issue of punishment, you know, these people in Nyimba were trying to demand for the release of that person so they could deal with him accordingly, but it’s not the duty of members of the public to do the prosecution or to provide punishment. The processing of cases if any person is involved in a criminal case is the duty of the police. Then, from there, we have courts of law that are mandated to deal with these types of cases. So, people should avoid taking the law into their own hands. What is supposed to be done, once you suspect that anything has been committed, they are supposed to hand over that person to the police for further action. That’s the way we are supposed to operate the system. But people should just be alert and report any suspicious characters and activities,” urged Kunda.