POLICE has issued a stern warning to Nakonde residents over rioting against the COVID-19 lockdown imposed on the border town last week.
Yesterday, residents took to the streets and rioted resulting in the arrest of eight people.
The residents say the lockdown was preventing them from working and feeding themselves.
Out of Zambia’s 831 COVID-19 cases, 400 are in Nakonde which has now been declared the country’s epicenter of the pandemic.
In a statement to #Kalemba, Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo advised the Nakonde residents to allow authorities deal with rapid spread of the COVID-19.
While confirming the arrest of the eight people in yesterday’s riots, Katongo said one protestor had been shot and was admitted to Nakonde General Hospital.
“Police in Nakonde followed up a report in Katozi and Ntindi Villages In Chief Waitwika of Nakonde District, after a tip-off from concerned members of the public that a mob armed with assorted offensive weapons had staged a riot. Among the rioters were hawkers and Motorbike Riders who were joined by some residents of Katozi Village,” Katongo narrated.
She explained that upon seeing the officers, the riotous mob begun throwing stones and other assorted objects at the officers and efforts to calm the mob proved futile.
“However, the police managed to arrest eight of the rioters and in the process , one rioter was injured. Those arrested are Mastano Simukonda aged 23 of Katozi Village, Happy Simukonda aged 23 of Mukoma Village, Gideon Sikanyika aged 13 of Ntindi Village, John Mwape aged 27 of Chiyanga Village, Mapalo Siame aged 12 of Ntindi village, Israel Simbeye aged 20 of Ntindi Village , Chimeya Remy Sichula aged 27 of Ntindi Village and Bright Simuchenje,” she said.
Katongo said warn and caution statements have been recorded from the suspects and they will appear in court soon for riotous behaviour.
Katongo appealed to the residents of Nakonde to be patient and allow health authorities to address the outbreak of COVID-19 without any disturbance.
“All those that would want to act to the contrary risk being arrested and charged in accordance with the provisions of the Law,” said Katongo.