INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says police have arrested 566 suspects due to appear in court soon for various offences related to gassing and rioting from a total of 668 cases countrywide.
And Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has directed that all the recent cases of indiscipline in the Service must be processed and disposed of in accordance with the disciplinary procedures within 30 days.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo has urged police to deal with social media criminals, including online publication, Koswe, who he accused of spreading hate and tribal speech.
Speaking during the commemoration of the Zambia Police Day at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, Wednesday, Kanganja said of the 668 cases, 566 suspects had been apprehended and arrested on various offences.
“I wish to report that as at Tuesday, March 3, 2020, police recorded a total of 668 cases on spraying of chemicals (gassing) and out of which 577 cases are still under active investigations, 566 suspects have been apprehended and arrested countrywide for various offences out of which 24 suspects have been taken to court. The total number of people affected by spraying of chemicals is 1,946 and more than 50 people have lost their lives as a result of instant mob justice. Very soon, you will see many more suspects appearing before the courts of law for prosecution. I must say that we have made great strides in arresting and bringing to book some of the perpetrators of these crimes,” Kanganja said.
“For you, criminals, that are still in hiding, let me warn you that we are closing in on you! It is just a matter of time. Soon, you will be fished and smoked out so that you are made answerable for the heinous crime you have committed and my command will make sure that you are made accountable! I wish to sound a strong warning to all those perpetrating anarchy in the country by spraying chemicals substances on innocent members of the public, behaving in a riotous manner and instant mob justice, that their days are numbered as we are almost at your doorstep. It is through this teamwork that we have been able to make great strides and slowly bringing cases of chemical spraying, riotous incidents and instant mob justice to manageable levels.”
He bemoaned that the current era of conflict and confrontation where people reached the extent inflicting physical harm and injury to fellow human beings.
“The era of conflict and confrontation where people reach to an extent where they inflict physical harm and injury to fellow human beings is uncalled for and must be condemned in the strongest terms by all Zambians. It is heart-provoking to see brothers and sisters attacking and brutally killing each other and, worse still, on passers-by based on mere suspicion that they are the ones behind spraying of chemical gassing. It is sad that some unscrupulous members of the public could resort to burning and destroying police stations, posts, including police vehicles acquired by government at very high cost, to better their lives and to ensure that their properties are protected and safeguarded,” Kanganja said.
And Kampyongo directed that all the recent cases of indiscipline in the Police Service must be processed and disposed off in accordance with the disciplinary procedures within 30 days.
“Inspector General of Police, my dear officers in the rank and file of the Zambia Police Service, to face the future with confidence, you must win back the confidence of the public. To achieve that, all the bad eggs must be rooted out of the Zambia Police Service. In that regard, I, hereby, direct that all the recent cases of indiscipline in the Service must be processed and disposed off in accordance with the disciplinary procedures within 30 days. No case of indiscipline should ever be swept under the carpet. Secondly, the Community Services Department must scale-up its operations in all our communities, and especially in those ravaged by high rates of crime, disorderly conduct and insecurity. I must also call upon members of the public to work with the police by providing information on any suspicious persons,” said Kanganja.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo said police should deal with social media criminals, who were fond of spreading hate and tribal speech online.
“The hate speech that we are seeing on social media is just as harmful to society as other hate speech. IG, the same way you have been so aggressive on issues of gassing is the same way you should be on bringing to book those issuing hate speech on social media. I would like to urge you, IG, to follow the motion, which was presented in Parliament last week through a private members motion, which was urging government to enforce the laws that deal with hate speech. I want to urge you to go for them wherever they are hiding and smoke them out just like you have warned those who are committing other crimes, be it Koswe or whatever they call themselves! Go for them and make them account for their hate speech. Make sure that you crack a whip! And to those who think we are joking, they must just count their days because no one is above the law,” warned Kampyongo