Hundreds of foreign nationals have converged in various police stations in shanty compounds seeking protection from Zambian attackers who are looting their shops and businesses.
Yesterday, April 18, violent xenophobic attacks erupted in Lusaka, Zingalume, George and parts of Garden and Mandevu compounds.
Zambians rioted and looted shops owned by non-Zambians especially people from Rwanda. One person was burnt to ashes in Kanyama but his identify has not yet been verified. Two other persons were stoned to death.
According to Zambia Watchdog, the riots were sparked off by PF Government reckless statements that some people believed to be foreign nationals had been apprehended by police in connection with the ritual killings.
That reckless statement and tone alone has now led to xenophobic attacks against foreigners and their businesses. With the current economic crisis and poverty, people are taking advantage of the situation.
People are mainly looting food stuffs such as mealie meal, sugar, bread, cooking oil and other essential commodities that have gone way beyond majority of the Zambian people.
There has also been very slow action on the part of the police which is known to act swiftly when issues involve PF political opponent. Meanwhile, a cross section of people blamed the vilent attacks on the government. Another person attributed the riots to frustration caused by economic hardships.
“You cannot rule out economic hardships as a cause to the frustration. People want to seize every opportunity to break into shops and loot foodstuffs
A senior Police officer who spoke to Zambia Watchdog said the Police command has since asked for reinforce from Sondela , a paramilitary training school in Chilanga.
“Things are not getting any better. We have actually asked for beefing up of offcers from Sondela” the officer said.