POLICE in Ndola have arrested 20 people for rioting after hearing a rumour that a local woman was a witch who was behind the death of her son.

Her son died on the spot last week after being ran over by a truck.

Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga said the riotous behavior was based on a rumour.

“Yes, we have some residents of Chipulukusu in our detention. This was after the riots over a rumour from a son that her mother was a witch,” said Katanga.

Chipulukusu ward Councillor Kennedy Phiri expressed regret over the conduct of the residents.

Phiri said as a result of the riotous behavior, 20 people had been arrested.

He explained that the riots left two houses completely destroyed.

“This unbecoming riotous behavior and wanton destruction of property by residents based on rumours and speculation must be condemned by all. Destruction of property is not an acceptable channel of communication in modern day society as it demonstrates a lack of maturity and criminal inclination. Therefore, it should be denounced with the utmost contempt it deserves,” said Phiri.

“We cannot allow this primitive and backward situation where people are perpetually breaking the law with impunity to continue. Our people in Chipulukusu Ward should be made to understand that rioting is unlawful and is punishable by imprisonment which is most undesirable and distractive to the individual progress of any citizen. Chipulukusu residents should desist and refrain from engaging themselves in riotous behaviour and other related acts and we hereby advise them to adopt dialogue as a way of resolving conflicts.”