POLICE in Choma on Monday night clashed with Chandamali residents who rioted, destroying property and injuring some people after a false report went round that there was a local farmer suspected to be holding a person that went missing late last year.
Confirming the development at the scene, Southern Province police commissioner Diamond Likashi said 43 people have since been arrested in connection with the riot in which four people were seriously injured and six motor vehicles were damaged.
“The riot was sparked by false rumors that a 69-year-old local farmer was involved in satanic practices in which he was allegedly using magic to hold captive his victims for some rituals. Among the four injured people is a police officer,” Likashi said.
He warned of stern action against those spreading falsehoods leading to riots.
And Southern Province minister Edify Hamukale has called for calm saying that there was no need for residents to take the law into their own hands as they risk facing the wrath of the law.
“The 43 suspects picked in connection with riotous behaviour include 37 males, two females, and 4 juveniles; one male and three female juveniles. The same are detained in police custody and will appear in court soon,” said Hamukale.