Police have arrested four people in connection with a spate of fires to public buildings that hit some parts of Zambia following the arrest of the country’s leading opposition leader, a spokesperson said on Thursday.
Esther Katongo, the police spokesperson said the four were arrested on Wednesday afternoon near a prison in Lusaka, the country’s capital with an assortment of items believed to have been used in setting up the fires.
The opposition leader is being held at the prison the suspects were arrested from. Among the items found in the car they were driving included two brown plastic bottles of potassium permanganate, a small paper containing some black power, four rechargeable batteries, one empty container which was smelling of petrol and two paper tubes and some match sticks, she added. “You may wish to note that a combination of some of the substances found in the suspects can cause an instant explosion or fire,” she said.
The quartet were currently under police custody as investigations continue and the police have since warned people planning to cause confusion that they will be arrested as officers have been placed on high alert. A number of public buildings including courts, markets and a dormitory at a public college have been set ablaze in the recent weeks following unrest caused by the arrest of Hakainde Hichilema, the country’s leading opposition leader who has been charged with treason.