By CHITE MTONGA
SPORADIC riots erupted in Lusaka’s Kanyama Township yesterday following the on-going curfew imposed by government and the subsequent removal of traders from the streets, which left several civilians and some police officers seriously injured.
The protestors, mostly young people clad in UPND party regalia chanted anti-government slogans and hurled insults at armed police and government officials for removing them from the streets.
The stone-throwing UPND cadres left several innocent residents injured together with some police officers. The rowdy mob that was protesting against government’s decision to remove traders from overcrowded markets and streets following the cholera outbreak, blocked roads, burnt tyres and attacked the police by throwing stones and other objects at them.
The mob later burnt a garbage collection tipper truck and smashed a window screen for a vehicle belonging to the Zambia Police.
Police retaliated by teargassing the crowd and firing warning shots in the air to disperse the rioters who were determined to reach the central business district (CBD) to express their displeasure.
One of the rioters who sought anonymity said that people should not stop demonstrating as they were going hungry when those who had initiated the exercise to remove the traders from the streets were comfortable.
A police officer who disembarked from one of the vehicles to control the rioters was attacked, leaving him with serious injuries while his firearm went missing.
And one of the Lusaka City Council employees who was in the area only identified as Vincent sustained a deep cut on the head and was seen bleeding profusely after the rioters attacked him and stole his belongings. The council employee was taken to Kanyama hospital by police.