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Enhance security in schools to prevent gassing, Andyford

PEOPLE’S Alliance for Change (PAC) has urged school authorities especially in Lusaka to beef up security in their respective schools amidst the increased gassing of schools in the capital city.

PAC president Andyford Banda, in a statement yesterday, said the police are overwhelmed and hence the need for school authorities to tighten security at their schools to avoid gassing attacks.

Zambia has been experiencing a spate of gassings both in residential areas and schools with victims suffocating but no fatality has been recorded yet.

Banda said the incidents were likely to affect academic performance of learners.

“The continued gassing of schools in Lusaka with the latest being Arthur Wina Primary School in Lusaka’s Chilenje township after Northmead Primary School last week should worry not only parents and government but school authorities as well. School authorities should not expect police to be deployed as they seem overwhelmed already hence failing to contain the situation,” he said.

“Seeing their colleagues chocking after the gassing incidents should be traumatising to pupils especially the victims and this is likely to affect their concentration levels in class. This should compel authorities to enhance security levels until the situation is brought under control by those tasked to maintain law and order in the country.”

Banda said targeting schools was retrogressive and unfortunate.

“These facilities should provide safe spaces for children to learn, be with their friends and restore a sense of belonging. This however is not the case as schools are increasingly being targeted by these criminals,” he said.

Meanwhile, PAC has also noted with regret the continued killing of people suspected to be behind the gassing of houses and schools in some parts of the country.

“In the continued practice of mob justice, it is possible that even innocent people have lost their lives. This makes us wonder whether the security personnel deployed among them soldiers and police officers have the capacity to arrest the situation,” he said.

“We therefore urge the security wings charged with the responsibility to maintain law and order in the country to heighten their efforts of bringing culprits to book as failure to do so will result in the continued loss of lives. It is unacceptable that over 10 people have lost their lives in the last one week for merely being suspected to be behind the gassing of homes.”

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