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Use of live ammunition by police in riots condemned

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The Council of Churches in Zambia is saddened that Police Officers in Zambia have continued to use live ammunition to disperse aggrieved crowds.

On 20th May, Police in Nakonde District are reportedly to have used live ammunition to disperse rioters who took to the streets in protest against lockdown measures that were imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus diseases in the area.

Reverend Emmanuel Chikoya, the CCZ General Secretary is concerned that despite continued calls from the Church, Civil Society and other Stakeholders for Police Officers not to be trigger-happy, the trend of shooting indiscreetly at rioting crowds has continued.

Reverend Chikoya is puzzled that Police Officers seem to resort to shooting even in situations where other means of dispersing crowds are available. 

He explains that it is CCZ’s considered view that the use of live ammunition by Police Officers must be the last option, and only in a worst-case scenario.

Reverend Chikoya has however commended the quick action by the Police to spot the riot, but regrets that it was spoiled by their unnecessary use of maximum force.

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