THAT so many girls could be abducted and held captive against their will makes sad reading and highlights the need for community policing.
It also shows that no one is safe, that one is always at risk of being abducted on the streets and held captive for a ransom.
The dramatic rescue of the girls highlights the need for communities to be alert all the time and be other other’s keeper at a time when “it’s each person for him/herself and God for us all.”
The nation can at least breathe a sigh of collective relief that Ms Pamela Chisumpa, the mobile money agent who was abducted last April has been found alive.
She was rescued with 12 other girls who have been abducted in the past year at a house in Lusaka’s Chalala residential area.
The girls were rescued from the house after one of them escaped and alerted the neighbours about their plight as one of the abductors fled the scene.
According to the eye-witnesses and neighbours around the area where the girls were found, at about 13 hours yesterday one of the girls escaped from the house and ran to the neighbours, screaming as she banged at the gate.
The neighbours narrated that upon opening the gate, they met the girl who looked distressed and distraught and crying for help.
The girl immediately informed the neighbours that she was one of the girls who had been abducted and the “Good Samaritan” immediately alerted the entire neighbourhood about what was unfolding.
Ms. Chisumpa for one was reported missing in April this year and all efforts to trace her proved futile until yesterday when she was rescued from the house.
And against a sceptical public, the police kept on assuring the nation that Ms Chisumpa was alive as the abductors kept sending messages to her boyfriend demanding ransom.
Although the alleged abductors escaped, police must not rest until they get to the bottom of the story at least they do have a lead with the one captured.
The most obvious question is of course who owns the property on which the girls were found. Even if the criminals were renting, the landlord should be able to give details about the tenants.
All in all, it is sad that such activities are happening in what people could consider to be a quiet neighbourhood.
But then, this is the high price society must pay for opting to live in walled compounds where neighbours do not even know who lives next door.
Ironically, there have been reports of people being abducted and held for ransom in other parts of the country although the practice appears more rampant in Lusaka.
It calls for team work between the police and the public to identity the criminals in communities.
However, all is well that ends well for the girl’s horrid ordeal is over, so is their families’ anxiety not knowing what had become of their loved ones.