Police nab 8 in Kanyama riots

Police yesterday apprehended eight people in Kanyama Township after residents rioted, looting shops after word went round that a famous traditional healer in the area had defiled a 16-year-old girl.

The police had a tough time dispersing the instant justice mob that relentlessly threw stones as others ransacked and looted the shops belonging to the traditional healer whom they accused of sleeping with a minor.

Motorists using Los Angeles Road were forced to use alternative routes as the residents blocked the main street in the township, demanding that police leave the area so that they could ‘‘sort out’’ the traditional healer whom they accused of sleeping with minors for his charms to work.

Lusaka Province deputy police commissioner Edwin Bwanga told the Daily Nation that the irate residents raided the shops after the father of the named girl alleged that the businessman had defiled his daughter. Mr. Bwanga said the father of the girl earlier confronted the businessman for allegedly having had carnal knowledge of his daughter but he was chased away.

“The father of the child went to confront the traditional healer for allegedly defiling his daughter but was chased way and this incensed him and he started grumbling over what had allegedly happened and people joined in and attacked the businessman. They looted three shops and got away with the goods.

“However, quick intervention by the police saved the situation from worsening. They dispersed the crowd and managed to whisk the traditional healer away and took him to Los Angeles police for his safety,” Mr. Bwanga explained.

Mr. Bwanga said the police later transferred the man to Lusaka Central police station where he was formally charged with two cases of assault which he had allegedly committed previously.

He said police had launched investigations into defilement allegation and that the suspect will remain in police custody while appearing in court for the two charges of assault.

“We transferred him to Central police as the situation tensed up where we formally charged him with two counts of assault which he had allegedly committed previously and he will appear in court tomorrow (today) as we continue with our investigations of the alleged defilement,” he said.

A check by the Daily Nation at the scene in Kanyama yesterday found the three shops belonging to the accused looted.