POLICE in Lusaka have arrested 24 people for possession of offensive weapons following a joint operation by the service and the Lusaka City Council (LCC) in Lusaka’s Chawama compound.

The suspects are allegedly behind the criminal activities which have since been on the rise in Chawama and the surrounding areas.

Zambia Police spokesperson Esther Katongo and LCC public relations officer Emmanuel Lupikisha stated in a joint statement that the suspects would also be handed over to the Drug Enforcement Commission because they were found with some marijuana.

According to the statement, a number of offensive weapons including axes, Knives, machetes, golf sticks and a spear were recovered during the operation.

“Police in Lusaka have in the recent past received numerous complaints from members of the public in Chawama and surrounding compounds on a rise in criminal activities which had culminated into breaches of public peace, blockage of main roads such as Chifundo road, harassing, attacking and assaulting of innocent members of the public. Police also received information that the criminals were using a local private structure in John Howard where a group of suspected perpetrators of various crimes were occupying one room from where various illegal activities were taking place hence causing fear in people in the area. It is suspected that the said structure was harbouring criminals behind a spate of criminal activities experienced in the area and surrounding compounds. Arising from this, in the early hours of Tuesday, 22nd December, 2020, around 0100 hours, Zambia Police conducted a joint operation with the Lusaka City Council during which an assortment of offensive weapons were recovered such axes, Knives, machetes, golf sticks and a spear,” read a statement.

“Additionally, 24 suspects were picked up and unascertained quantities of Marijuana were found on some of the suspects. During the operation, it was discovered that the structure which was being used by the suspected criminals operated a bar and restaurant in filthy environment and was without a liquor Licence and Public Health Permit contrary to the provisions of the law. Those arrested are detained in police custody [and] are yet to be charged for being Found in Possession of Offensive weapons and will further be handed over to the Drug Enforcement Commission for the drug related offences.”

She named those who had been arrested and warned members of the public to continue reporting their concerns to police.

“Those arrested are Joshua Chitwaka aged 20 of Chawama, Isaiah Chungu aged 18 of Chawama, John Zimba aged 19 of John Howard, Silwimba Musonda aged 19 of John Laing, Michael Kafusha aged 46 of Chawama, Edwin Musonda aged 36 of Chawama, Moses Bwalya aged 43 of Makeni, William Musonda, 30 of Chawama, Donald Kampamba aged 48 of Kabanana, Caleb Daka aged 21 of Kuomboka, Andrew Mutale aged 19 of Kuku, Ben Daka aged 20 of Misisi and Lackson Simfukwe aged 17 years of Kuomboka,” read the statement.

“Others are Francis Tembo aged 22 years of Kuku, Nzolo Peulu aged 20 years Chawama, Abraham Lwenga aged 20 of Makeni, Peter Kakube aged 17 of Kuku, Joshua Banda aged 15 of Chawama, Emmanuel Mwanza aged 19 of Chawama, Ferdinand Likumbi aged 15 of Chawama, Joel Nyondo aged 30 of Kabanana, Adam Chibuye aged 22 of Kuku and Medson Banda aged 20 of John Howard. We urge members of the public to continue bringing security concerns in their communities to the Zambia Police Service as such information was cardinal in planning an operation.”