THE Human Rights Commission has condemned the criminal and barbaric conduct of some overzealous villagers in Katete who attacked police officers in the area, leaving them hospitalised.
At the weekend 17 police officers who had gone to maintain law and order in Joel and Chinzu villages, were ambushed by villagers who apparently misconstrued their presence and intervention as siding with the murder suspect.
But Commission spokesperson Mweelwa Muleya says it is unacceptable for anyone to take the law unto their own hands as the villagers did, no matter how annoyed or strongly one feels about any matter or situation.
Mr. Muleya has called for a thorough investigation to ensure culprits are properly identified and subjected to the due process of the law.
He says police officers have a daunting constitutional obligation of daily maintaining law and order and protecting human rights such as the right to life, property, and public security or safety and that law enforcement officers deserve everyone’s support and respect as they carry out their national duties, usually under extremely difficult circumstances.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mweelwa has commended the police officers for their exceptional professionalism and restraint from using live ammunition on their assailants, even in the face of imminent danger on their lives.
He said the Commission was informed that the villagers defied warning shots and continued advancing violently until the officers reportedly ran out of ammunition and that it is cognisance of the high and disturbing emotions the attack on the police officers has generated and justifiably so.