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‘We watch haplessly as they looted,’-Witness tells Kitwe Magistrate  

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A 21-year old Man of Chamboli Township has testified how with his workmates hopelessly watched as the shop they work in got looted by irate residents of Kitwe.

Appearing before Chief Resident Magistrate Yvonne Nalomba was Kelvin Bwalya, Boyd Kasuba, Peter Chitabula, Fabian Chengo, Steven Kalunga, Kelvin Sikatali, Dabwitso Njobvu,

Bruce Chitalu, Richard Mphande, Harison Mumba, Steven Mambwe, Bornface Kunda, Alex Kamanga and Langanani Nkhata all charged with two counts of rioting and damaging of building contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offense are that on November 5, this year, in Kitwe, jointly and whilst acting together took part in a riot by breaching peace.

In count two, allegations are that on November 5, this year, in Kitwe, being riotously assembled, damaged King Mei supermarket, the property of Guy Kalumba.

Victor Mwindula who is the first witness in the case told court that on the material day he received a phone call from his boss that they would not open the supermarket as there was confusion at Nakadoli market.

Mr Mwindula said his boss also instructed him that he goes and man the shop in case the rioters decided to break into the supermarket.

He said on his way to the shop he found an angry mob had blocked government road in Chimwemwe Township with burning tires and they were sending away every vehicle that wanted to pass.

He said as he reached the shop he found three of his co-workers keeping vigil of the Chinese shop.

Mr Mwindula narrated that shortly after he arrived some police officers came and dispersed the rioters from the road who later remobilized themselves and walked towards the shop.

He said that they later started throwing stones at the Windows and doors of Xinmei supermarket and opened it and got away with goods such as mattresses, pots, dishes, bicycles and Plasma TVs.

“We watched hopelessly with my workmates as the shop was been looted by the irate residents because they were many.  I immediately called my boss to inform him that the shop had been looted and that there was no police officer to help disperse the group of people,” he said.

Magistrate Nalomba has since adjourned the matter to December 10, and 11 for continuation of trial.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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