And outraged residents have accused the Zambian police of failing to act quickly to arrest the gang and yet the same police have always moved swiftly when arresting Linyungandambo and other Barotseland independence activists.
“How could the police claim they don’t have enough manpower to arrest criminals but always have sufficient manpower to arrest Linyungandambo and other Barotse activists?” asked Muyunda, demanding further that either the police did their work to protect the peaceful residents or they would be forced to defend themselves, even if it meant burning the criminals alive.
The gang is suspected to have come from Lusaka or Copperbelt as their terror methods are similar to those of the infamous 90 Niggers gang currently terrorizing some parts of Zambia’s Copperbelt.
Mongu has a battalion of paramilitary officers permanently camped at Mongu independence stadium with regional officers from the Zambia Army and Zambia Air Force who have been in the region since 2011 in anticipation of a possible Barotse independence uprising, but have apparently not helped to combat this sudden wave of crime, to the displeasure of Mongu residents.
Meanwhile, the one suspected gang leader who was reportedly arrested by the police in Kanyonyo area where he was hiding after the police deployed some officers across Mongu central business center to maintain law and order, and six others earlier apprehended by the citizens have reportedly been released under unclear circumstances.
The gang has also reportedly published and distributed fliers across Mongu town warning that they would only end their terror after the Kuomboka, proving local suspicions that the gang may be in Mongu to profit from the lucrative ceremony.
However, the inertia by police has made one observer, Bulozi London, believe that Zambia’s ruling Patriotic Front Party may have unleashed the gang with the intention to destabilize the Kuomboka ceremony for political capital.
“In a desperate bid to derail the relative peace and tranquility in Barotseland, a gang of Patriotic Fools (Patriotic Front) has been dispatched to cause mayhem in our country. They have orders to rape, loot and maybe to kill innocent Barotse citizens… and the police claim they don't have the manpower to deal with this rise in bu Kebenga…” wrote Bulozi London in a social media post.
The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) earlier last week departed from the norm of inviting politicians to be guests of honour at the prestigious Kuomboka and decided to invite Gawa Undi, the Paramount Chief of the Nsenga people of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to be this year’s Guest of Honour instead of Zambia’s Republican and ruling party President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
Another resident who was caught up in today’s terror, Patrick Maboshe, has, however, appealed to Mongu Central Commander to allow the formation of community security groups who would work hand in hand with the Police in securing people’s lives and public property from the thugs terrorizing Mongu day and night.
The Royal Establishment is yet to address the security concerns but some social media reports have indicated that today’s unprecedented terror and havoc prompted them to convene an emergency meeting to consider the prevailing security situation in view of the impending Kuomboka ceremony which is only 12 days away on the 21st of April 2018.