Pubdate: Sun, 11 May 2014
Source: Times Of Zambia (Zambia)
Copyright: 2014 Times Of Zambia
Author: Kaiko Namusa
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)


TEN people have been arrested after Police and suspected members of a 
drug gang clashed in Lusaka's notorious Chibolya Township yesterday.

A failed raid by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) sparked the 
violence which also left two private vehicles torched during the skirmish.

Police and the DEC have over the years struggled to clean up drug 
activities in Chibolya, leaving the illicit drug dealers to operate 
at will, selling cannabis, cocaine and heroin, among others.

Lusaka Province commissioner of police, Lemmy Kajoba reiterated that 
the law enforcement agencies would re-strategise on a soon-to-be 
embarked drug operation in Chibolya.

Confusion started after some DEC officials conducted a raid at 
Chibolya Market to check for drugs but this annoyed the traders who 
beat up the officers.

Teargas and smoke from burning tyres fumed the air around the market 
as armed riot police fired teargas canisters to control the 
stone-throwing marketeers.

Members of the public were turned away from using the road leading to 
Chibolya Market and only watched as police swung into action to 
control the violence.

Mr Kajoba said the DEC operation lacked adequate backing from the 
police resulting in the violence.

"We will not continue to watch the growth of criminal activity in 
Chibolya. This they can't do and we will move in, full throttle to 
correct the nuisance there. We will strategise and engage in a deep 
operation in Chibolya.

"What happened yesterday was an aftermath of a DEC operation which 
has been going on for the past two days," he said.

He said Chibolya should not be a haven for criminal activity 
especially illegal drug trade and condemned the response of the 
unruly youths, who threw stones at the officers.

A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said DEC officers 
attempted to arrest suspected drug dealers but were over powered by 
angry marketeers.

"The DEC officers came here and wanted to arrest some suspects but 
they were roughed up by the mob at the market and they ended up 
producing pistols and threatened to shoot, this is when they called 
for police, who came to restore order," the source said.

By Press time, the situation had normalised while police were still 
conducting patrols in the area.
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