LEAVE my in-laws out of this and face me head on in the elections this August, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has told President Edgar Lungu.
And Hichilema has charged that the police are trying to plant weapons on his farms.
Meanwhile, Lusaka Province Police Commissioner Luckson Sakala said he was surprised to hear that there was a raid at Hichilema’s in-laws’ houses in Shibuyunji because he did not know where the police officers who conducted the raid came from.
On Friday, armed police raided the home of Hichilema’s in-laws in Shibuyunji, allegedly in search of weapons which they did not find.
“Today, a battalion of heavily armed Police went to raid my In-laws homes in Shibuyunji District in search of imaginary weapons. They dug the maize fields and yards and literally turned my in-laws’ houses upside down as onlookers watched in shock. In all honesty, Mr Edgar Lungu must know that I, Hakainde Hichilema and my wife Mutinta including our In-laws have no weapons besides God. Other than God, the people of Zambia and their voters cards are our weapons. Leave our In-laws out of this and face us head on in terms of how this country can be developed. We are aware that the PF is having sleepless nights and wants us to stop being their challenger in the August elections, but they must not push their luck too far. We call upon all Zambians to remain calm and focused and not be disrupted by such intimidation by the PF as exhibited today,” Hichilema stated in a Facebook posting on Friday.
But when contacted, Central Province police commissioner Chola Katanga said he could not confirm the raid as Shibuyunji was under the Jurisdiction of Lusaka Command.
“I am not in a position to give any details though Shibuyunji is under Central [Province], the jurisdiction is still Lusaka,” said Katanga.
And Lusaka Province police commissioner Luckson Sakala said he was not aware of the raid as none of his officers carried out any operation of the sort.
“I am also surprised because I don’t know where that police came from. I am not aware of any operation in Shibuyunji by my officers,” said Sakala.
And in an interview, Hichilema said the police should go and arrest the hooligans who carried out the raid if they are not aware of it.
“If they don’t know about the raid, why didn’t they go to the scene of crime? Next to the scene of crime there is Shibuyunji police there, the Shibuyunji police post they are aware of what is happening. So if they are there to protect the citizens, why have they not rushed to Shibuyunji to go and see and interview people on what happened? They have not done that because they are aware. But if they are not aware, then let them go and arrest the hooligans who did that, wearing police uniform, carrying police guns, using police vehicles,” he said.
He added that the only reason why the police were distancing themselves from the incident is because they were ashamed.
“I know what the police are feeling, the police feel ashamed because they are normal people inside the police and they feel ashamed. I was there myself and how come the police have not gone to the crime scene, if it is their duty to protect all citizens, and that is what we are going to change ourselves. We will let police operate independently, professionally and not what is happening now – political favours. They are denying the raid because they are afraid of being fired, we understand and that’s why there is need to change government,” Hichilema said.
“I feel for them, I feel sorry for the police because you know, they are driven to do wrong things and this is unacceptable, it’s really embarrassing, this is the incompetence we are talking about. The country is in a dictatorship, a corrupt dictatorship because seriously how can a villager hide guns in the village, they are even searching at the homestead. Where is the police intelligence? You and I should be asking, how did they make a trip there, they traumatised people there, they traumatised villagers, villagers are not sleeping and why go to villagers, they should have decided to raid me here, not going to raid villagers.”
He charged that the police were trying to plant weapons at his farm.
“Also the message is that they want to plant weapons on our farm. We have known this for a long time, so we don’t even know maybe they planted weapons there because the plot is very big, even the farm surrounding the area, we have a lot of farms,” said HIchilema.