The frequent protests by various groups which have rocked the Zambian capital of Lusaka have resulted in the central police command running short of tear gas after having fired massive amounts of canisters to quell unrest.
Most recently, Police fired teargas to disperse Evelyn Hone students who were protesting against poor sanitation at the institution. The officers also used canisters on Kalingalinga, Chibolya and PHI residents who demonstrated against the deaths of criminal suspects in police custody.
The trigger-happy officers have since run out of canisters forcing them to rely of physical force on citizens.
Sources within the police command have revealed that for two months now, Anti-riot police have been operating without teargas. The source confirmed that the police officers beat up protesting UPND youths on Addis Ababa drive because they did not have teargas canisters.
The shortage of tear gas was also accompanied by statements Lusaka Province Commissioner of Police Dr Solomon Jere, who said that his officers would not hesitate to use force against citizens.
Speaking during a ZNBC Radio 4 programme this morning, Dr Jere who recently replaced Charity Katanga as head of Lusaka Division command, said it was wishful thinking to expect the police to treat offenders with kid gloves.
“We are not a police service. The Zambian constitution recognizes that we are a police force. We are not here to provide a service like a hotel. If an offender is brought to police, you don’t expect us to talk to him like we are talking to an in-law. We will move in with force. This is a warning to would be protesters and offenders,” he said.