Home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo says protestors who stormed LAZ two weeks ago demanding Linda Kasonde’s resignation did not have a police permit.
And Kampyongo says government will not condone political party cadres masquerading as officers in the Zambia Police Service.
In a ministerial statement to Parliament today, Kampyongo confirmed that the protestors did not have a police permit. and described the Protest against Kasonde and LAZ as illegal.
“The procession at LAZ was illegal and that is what prompted the Zambia Police Service to dispatch officers to go and quell and disperse the people that had gathered and they obliged. So when I was saying it was an illegality, I was not looking at the organisation that these individuals belong to but I want to say here Mr Speaker that such kind of behaviour shall not be entertained,” Kampyongo said.
At this point, Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo insisted when he rose on a point of order that the people who protested at LAZ were PF and he offered to help in identifying the culprits, saying there was video footage.
But Kampyongo, who is also PF National Youth Chairman, argued that what happened at LAZ could not be compared to the behaviour of UPND cadres at High Court grounds in January this year.
“Like I have said, we are not looking at the organisation from which those people are coming. The occurrence at LAZ cannot be compared to what happened at the High Court grounds and we still have suspects from the UPND appearing in court for the damage and trail of destruction which was caused at the court premises. And I would have loved the honourable member who rose this point of order to have used the same vigor to probably apologise to the Judiciary and those people who are working at that premises because those people have been left traumatised,” Kampyongo said.
And Kampyongo said the police service was not a political institution and warned that officers involved in partisan politics would be laid-off.
He was responding to a follow-up question from Kafue member of parliament Mirriam Chonya, who wanted Kampyongo to explain why the police service was infiltrated by PF cadres.
“I want to assure this House and the member of parliament for Kafue in particular that the Zambia Police Service is a professional institution and it is a non political institution. Even me as minister in charge, I cannot entertain anyone to be partisan or even to belong to a party that I belong to because then we shall be killing the institution,” said Kampyongo.
“So we have the police service Mr Speaker which has been there and most of the officers that are serving have been there for many years and I don’t think they could have been changing political parties as parties were changing government. So they are there to provide a service to all the citizens and therefore they are not supposed to be partisan. Those that we find with political ambitions, we advise them to leave their uniform and join active politics, that’s how it is.”