Schoolboy Burnt Alive By Vigilante Mob

Story ByLee Bullen,Sub EditorJoseph Golder,AgencyCentral European News


This schoolboy is the latest victim of vigilante violence which has gripped Zambia ever since reports surfaced of widespread criminal activity involving local residents being gassed in their homes.

The so-called “gassers” are people who spray knock-out drugs or poison into homes in order to render the occupants unconscious. Some say this is in order to rob them while others say it is to carry out sinister rituals that even include kidnapping and human sacrifice.


The latest round of violence started earlier this month when reports went round that a so-called ‘gasser’ had been caught, with the same reports naming a local councillor as the ringleader of the ‘gassers’.

As a result, a mob surrounded the house of councillor and burnt it to the ground after looting its contents. It was later claimed that the rumour was false and that the real target had been documentation on the property related to a fraud case.


Nyimba police station In Eastern Province was also reportedly burnt down by angry residents over the ongoing gassing of people across the country.

Two days later, the country’s Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo said gassers were a real threat when he claimed 370 homes in the Copperbelt Province had been gassed since the end of January, affecting over a thousand people including one who died.


Following this, there were numerous other reports that the ‘gassers’ were still active, prompting vigilantes to once again take to the streets to hunt down the criminals.

The end result is that numerous innocent people have been identified as suspected gassers, and beaten to death.

Images like this reported CCTV picture published in the middle of the violence claim to show that they are still active, and have inspired more vigilante mobs to take to the streets, with a schoolboy being the latest victim.

The young victim has been identified as grade 11 pupil Kelvin Muke who attended the Chinenezi School in the district of Zambezi located in Zambia’s North-Western Province.

The US Overseas Security Advisory Council said on its website: “Rumours of ritualistic killings and residential gassings have led to incidents of civil unrest and vigilante justice in multiple provinces.

“Citizen groups are targeting individuals suspected of being involved in the rituals, gassings, or any other criminal activity.”

Reports said that residents have been meting out mob justice to anyone they suspect of attacking civilians’ homes with gas and young Kelvin was targeted by one vigilante group.

The youngster, who was the nephew of a teacher at the school he attended, was reportedly burned alive after a lynch mob believed he was a gasser.

The teen was on his way home from his girlfriend’s house when the mob beat him up and set him ablaze, according to reports.

Zambezi district commissioner Lawrence Kayumba confirmed Kelvin’s death and called on the public to refrain from taking matters into their own hands.

Similar riots erupted in the country’s capital in 2016, when residents accused foreigners of a spate of murders amid economic troubles, according to reports.

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