By JOHN SAKALA
One hundred and thirty-eight (138) residents of Chingola were this morning rushed to various health centers across the district after their houses were last night spread with unknown chemicals by unknown people.
Sadly, the same criminals have even started gassing police officers in police camp.
Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo said reports from various clinics and hospitals in the district indicated that criminals are now spreading the yet to be known chemical for unknown reasons.
Mr Tembo said health authorities have confirmed receiving and treating victims and by press time only four of the 138 were still admitted at the hospital.
He has noted with concern that despite intensified security, criminal activities in Chingola have persisted.
M Tembo said a team of health experts has been instituted to establish, the type of chemical that is being used.
Meanwhile in Kitwe, the current volatile security situation on the Copperbelt has forced trading places such as Chisokone Market to close early than usual.
According to Association for Vendors and Marketeers President, Abel Chikwa, the market is now closing by 18:30 hours instead of the usual 20:30 hours.
Mr Chikwa said marketers are losing out on business as they are forced to knock off early for fear of being attacked while clients are also equally shunning the markets beyond 18:00 hours due to suspected ritual murders in Chingola with fears that the situation is spilling into Kitwe.
He said the loss of business cannot be quantified yet but was quick to mention that markets have more business between 17 and 21 hours as this is the time most customers in the formal sector knock off and buy from the traders.