The Non Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says it is concerned at increasing cases of residents rising against the police service.
NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said today in a statement that there was need for the police command to fully introspect and find a lasting solution to the problem, saying in all cases where there was violence, the women and children suffered the most.
If the police want to take the law in their own hands, what shall stop the residents from doing the same? Unless there is mutual trust between the residents and the police, we risk losing lives in such uncalled for uprisings of residents against the law enforcers
“ In the number of incidences that have occurred in Ng’ombe, Misisi and Garden compounds, among others, there have been allegations that suspects had died in police custody. This is where the police command needs to institute investigations to find out what could have caused the deaths of the suspects.
Without finding the causes of the deaths and thereby putting in place measures to avoid any more loss of lives, such incidences will continue,” she said.
Ms. Mwale said the police service should at all times avoid beating suspects as it was a violation of human rights.
“If the police want to take the law in their own hands, what shall stop the residents from doing the same? Unless there is mutual trust between the residents and the police, we risk losing lives in such uncalled for uprisings of residents against the law enforcers,” she said.
Ms. Mwale also express concern at reports of sexual abuse on female suspects in police cells.
“NGOCC is also concerned with the increasing cases of sexual abuse of female suspects by the police as it is not only a violation of human rights but also exposes women to life threatening diseases. We therefore expect that the police command will get into action to redress the situation and seriously work on instilling citizens’ confidence in the police command,” said Ms Mwale.
Meanwhile police in Lusaka have arrested 14 people in connection with the damage to property caused during the riot by Garden compound residents who fought running battles with the police in protest against the death of a suspect who died in police custody.
Police spokesperson Ndandula Siamana told journalists today that 14 residents had so far been arrested in connection with the violence and that two more wanted suspects were still on the run.
Ms. Siamana said the arrested suspects would be charged with Arson.
She said one of the police officers who tried to control the angry residents was badly wounded in the process and that the residents would therefore also be charged with assault.