Hakoola calls for upgrading schools’ security to prevent gassing occurrences

THE Continental Leadership Research Institute (CLRI) says there is need to tighten security in both private and government schools.

Executive director Mundia Hakoola said there was also need to have a deliberate policy to ensure schools have surveillance equipment such as security cameras, tightened random access by members of the public and also put in place other security features to safeguard the interests of pupils and teachers.

Over 200 pupils from Buyantanshi Technical School in Nchanga North Mine area were allegedly gassed on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said police rushed to the scene and were informed by management that those affected were pupils in a grade 8 class while other victims were those who went to the affected class to check on what was happening.

“It was later reported by management at the school that they had picked a bottle labeled ‘Blue Blue Perfume’ containing unknown liquid believed to have been thrown in a bin by an unknown person and was handed to the police,” said Katongo. “All the victims complained of headache, chest pains, and difficulty in breathing and cough. The condition of the victims has been described as stable and no death has been recorded. The bottle with unknown content will be taken to Food and Drug Laboratory for analysis.”

But Hakoola said the institute was aware that the issue of gassing left Zambians with some many questions than answers.

“We are of the view that we have to prevent future occurrences of such acts by upgrading the security detail of our schools. We believe that this security upgrade would prevent future occurrences of such crimes and would also help law enforcement agencies in achieving the speedy deliverance of justice in matters involving schools,” said Hakoola.

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