Zambia police arrest 55 after riots in capital
12 Jan 2018, 23:51 ( 6 days ago)
At least 55 people were arrested in the capital after riots sparked by the decision by authorities to stop them from trading at undesignated area following a cholera outbreak, a senior government official said on Friday.
Rioters, mostly from street vendors from Kanyama township as well as two other slums, fought running battles with the police who had sealed off the place which they had turned into a trading place after being chased from the streets and other undesignated trading places as part of efforts to contain cholera.
Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said one police officer was injured during the riots while a police post had its windows shattered and a private vehicle parked at the station was also damaged.
A tipper truck parked at a local school was also burnt during the protest, he added.
He said it was unacceptable that some people decided to break the law aimed at ensuring public health on prevention of epidemics like cholera which the country has been fighting.
"My government shall not allow lawlessness to take root in our country. Accordingly, all the public health and security measures put in place to combat the current cholera epidemic shall remain in full force and anyone found in breach of these laws and regulations shall be brought to book without fear or favor," he told reporters during a press briefing.
Authorities closed markets in the city and stopped trading on the streets following an outbreak of cholera which has claimed 65 people in the city.
A massive cleanup coordinated by the military has been taking place in central business district.
Meanwhile Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale said the government will commence a gradual re-opening of some trading places in the city which have adhered to guidelines that have been put in place.
He said during the same press briefing that the authorities have come up with a set of guidelines which the markets should meet before reopening in the wake of the cholera outbreaks.
Among the guidelines include adequate sanitation, clean water supply, solid waste management system and a valid medical certificate.