THE ugly pattern of ritual murders that has resurfaced in Lusaka requires an effective community policing system to smash the covertly designed heinous crimes.

In the past, law enforcement officers have faced obstacles in tracking down perpetrators of this abhorrent crime in the early stages. The public must this time around get actively involved in the search for these blood-thirsty prowlers.

As reported On Tuesday, three people have so far been killed in Lusaka in similar circumstances. Zambia Police spokesperson Esther Katongo says in all the three instances body parts have been discovered missing.

This spectre is not new as in 2012 in Lusaka a 19-year-old female student was brutally murdered with her eyes forked out while her facial skin was peeled off.  Other ritual murders occurred the same year including that of a taxi driver whose private parts were removed.

Last year, about seven people were gruesomely murdered in Zingalume, George, Lilanda and Chunga townships in Lusaka. In one incident, the heart and male private parts were removed.

One of the reasons is that some people are coerced into killing and savagely pulling out body parts by “witch doctors.”  They are misled into believing that they would get wealthy and also become influential in society.

It is strange that people accept to engage in such weird and odd methods when the “witch doctors” themselves are poverty-stricken and operate from squalor.

Wealth accumulation goes with hard work, innovation and genuine networking with people who are already established or emerging entrepreneurs.

At any level, getting influential is not stimulated through evil sacrifice of body parts; far from it. This comes through exploiting qualities such as high integrity, good citizenship, honesty, hard work, organisational techniques and refined leadership skills.

Consulting mischievous and evil-minded elements cannot in any way provide panacea to social and economic problems.

Therefore, citizens facing various challenges should not be held down, but should instead explore viable ways of getting out of depressing situations. They should stay clear of crime of any sort.

It is also true that perpetrators abuse alcohol and drugs to muster sufficient courage to kill and severe delicate body parts. With the already disoriented mind, an addition of drugs and alcohol would push them to baying for blood.

Getting back to basics, proper parenting must be the starting point in eliminating crimes of this magnitude.

Parents must cultivate the spirit of unity in families to the extent that children always harbour a sense of belonging. Christian values are an important ingredient in moulding children into responsible citizens.

Yes, building strong family values, ties and responsibilities is one of the most feasible ways of enhancing moral efficacy in society and thus eliminating crime and rebellion in the future generation.

Secondly, the Church must play a critical role in building the moral fibre of society and in eradicating social vices.

It saves a lot of resources and efforts in being proactive rather than reactive in the fight against crime and other social ills.

Now that the problem is already at play, law enforcement officers and the general citizenry should cooperate in fighting perpetrators of ritual murders that are proving counterproductive in Zambia.

Ritual murderers must be “clipped” before more lives are lost.

Therefore, the fight against such a complex crime ring calls for equally sophisticated techniques to swiftly round-up these misfits who are out to desecrate human lives for devilish purposes.

Operations of the crime prevention units must be bolstered with more financial and human resources while awareness campaigns must also be enhanced particularly in high-density areas which are prone to crime.

Police have time and again advised citizens to avoid night errands in crime-prone and other areas. Foot and motorised patrols must also be enhanced.

Zambia must for once be free of crime to allow both local and foreign investors concentrate on sustainable development. Ordinary citizens, too, will be free to engage in productive activities in a crime-free environment.

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