KABWATA member of parlaiment Given Lubinda says the gassing report from Arthur Wina Basic School in Lusaka on Monday afternoon was not a hoax.
41 pupils were treated at Chilenje Level 1 Hospital after they complained of headaches, chest pains, gasping for breath and itchy throats after being victims of the they believed to be gassing.
The pupils, some of whom even fainted were taken to the hospital by the school authorities and their parents.
Chilenje Ward 8 councilor Patrick Mwape confirmed the gassing incident and that about 40 pupils had been treated at Chilenje Level 1 Hospital.
But Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo dismissed the gassing report as a hoax.
She said the commotion and false report was as a result of a false alarm that a Grade 9 class had been gassed.
However, in a visit to the school yesterday, Lubinda who is also justice minister said he had verified the reports of gassing which he concluded were true.
Lubinda said there was no question about the authenticity of the gassing incident at the school.
“I have spoken to the headteacher who was in the school at the time of the gassing, I have spoken to the councilor who was also in the school at the time of the incident and the story they gave me collaborates well with the story I got from Dr Musonda, the Supretendent at Chilenje Level 1 Hospital,” Lubinda explained.
The minister revealed that the hospital head informed him that 41 pupils had been attended to at the hospital after showing signs of gasping for breath, headaches and chest pains.
He said the pupils were taken to the hospital by the school authorities while others had been taken by their parents.
Lubinda said he did not know the source of information for the police to dismiss the story as a hoax but urged the service to re-check its source of information.
“41 children could have not faked illness,” Lubinda said.
“What could the children benefit from feigning illness,” asked Lubinda.