POLICE in Muchinga Province have arrested nine people believed to have been involved in riots that rocked Nakonde yesterday in connection to the lockdown.
And Nakonde member of parliament Yizukanji Siwanzi says the confusion was caused by some motor cycle operators who wanted to return to their normal working routine despite the lockdown.
In a brief interview, Muchinga Police Commissioner Joel Njase said the police had arrested nine people including a person who had been shot in both legs and was receiving medical treatment at a health facility.
“Yes, it was a riot but I will come back to you since we are on the ground now. I am just landing in Nakonde I am yet to be briefed but so far, it is just to say that the area is now quiet and we have apprehended about eight and the one who was shot in both legs so we have nine. So we have one who was shot in the legs and he is in the hospital plus eight others who have been apprehended. So I am yet to receive a full brief on the same but the area is quiet, officers are on the ground,” said Njase.
And in a separate interview, Siwani narrated that the confusion was caused by some motor cycle operators who wanted to return to their normal working routine.
“What happened is that there were motor cycle operators who ferry people from one place to the other. Now, they wanted to continue with their operations. So we stopped them and they wanted to react to that hence trying to fuel confusion but it is something that has been managed and right now, everything has gone back to normal. These motor cycle operators work as taxis, so they ferry people from one place to another and they make money out of that. So they wanted to continue with those operations so we stopped them in reaction they wanted to fuel confusion. So that is where it all started from otherwise the residents of Nakonde have replied very well with the lock down and they are adhering to all the regulations that have been setup,” Siwani said.
“You see, these are people who are organised they wanted to create a situation as if people arising against this order so that in the process, we are forced to unlock and they continue doing their business. So, we quickly moved in and ensured that sanity was put in place and law and order prevails. So, it was just an organised syndicate wanting to disrupt the lock down. The security personnel that were patrolling the area stopped them from continuing operations. So, they wanted to now rise against the police and in the process they started also fuelling confusion and to create a situation where people maybe would start falling for the idea.”
Siwani said those who were posting pictures of the same on social media did not mean well and they would face the law.
“Those people who are posting those pictures on social media may not mean well. Nakonde is a very big place if in an area as I am describing the situation that was the case; and then someone picks those pictures there and starts insinuating or creating an impression that it’s everywhere in Nakonde, that is misleading and we have since warned those and we have started identifying them so that they can face the law. I can say it was not even a riot it’s something which could have become a riot if the was no intervention. So it was something that would have eventually erupted into a riot; but with the interventions we contained the situation and it never went any further,” said Siwani.