A combined team of the Zambia Police and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers yesterday fought fierce running battles with the residents of Chibolya Township residents after the law enforcement officers raided the criminally notorious slum looking for drugs and other illicit herbs.
Two vehicles were burnt in the process and about ten residents of Chibolya mostly youths were arrested after a fierce battle that lasted for close to three hours to the amazement and shock of onlookers.
Chibolya, the notorious slum perched on the immediate Western zone of Lusaka’s central business district is well known for various crimes ranging from drug dealing, consumption, robberies, petty thefts including a chain of illegal abattoirs has been the concern of the government and the law enforcement agencies for a long time.
But yesterday, DEC officers raided the slum hunting for illicit drugs mainly marijuana commonly known as hashish but their intruding action was met with an irate horde of youths who attacked the officers before the search for the drugs could commence.
A serious riot ensued as a result and DEC who had underestimated the capacity of the slum dwellers were forced to call for re-enforcement from the Zambia police who had to fire tear gas canisters and bullets in the air to disperse the marauding residents.
By press time, two private vehicles had been burnt to ashes by angry residents while some officers were badly beaten and stoned.
There had been several raids by the law enforcement officers in Chibolya but each operation had not yielded the desired results with Lusaka Province police commissioner Lemmy Kajoba vowing that the police would not relent in curbing criminal activities in the slum.
Mr Kajoba warned that Chibolya would not be allowed to be a no-go-area for the law enforcement officers stating that the police and DEC would soon conduct a more coordinated and robust operation to rid the notorious slum of its illicit and criminal activities.
The DEC officers raided the area after they were tipped that there was contraband of drugs at a named location within the slum but soon after arriving in the area, they were confronted by the residents who demanded to know why the officers were in the area.
Chibolya is Lusaka’s filthiest community hobouring a lot of criminals and it is an area where residents believe they are above the law as they conduct their illegal activities without the fear of the law.
The suspected dealers of illicit drugs after being overpowered surrendered and police arrested about ten of them warning that they would soon return to the area for a comprehensive clean-up to rid the community of criminals.