Police spokesperson Esther Katongo says it is very embarrassing for an officer to be drunk on duty.
Katongo has however noted that it was very dangerous for Mazabuka UPND member of parliament to confront an officer who looked drunk, armed with a loaded weapon, in the manner he did.
A video has surfaced showing a police officer in uniform aiming his AK47 rifle at Nkombo and his wife at a service station in Lilayi.
“We will find out from Chilanga police because that is embarrassing. The other advise is that you don’t confront a person who has a fire arm like that. It is dangerous,” Katongo reacted in a journalists’ WhatsApp group today.
“It is true that the officer looked drunk. However, what he was saying that an officer can search any motor vehicle or vessel he or she suspects is correct.”
But according to the Police Act, only a police officer who is of or above the rank of Sub-Inspector can carry out a search on a person who is under investigation when he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that it would aid an investigation which is under their authority.
“Whenever a police officer, of or above the rank of Sub-Inspector, has reasonable grounds for believing that anything necessary for the purpose of an investigation into any offence which he is authorised to investigate may be found in any place within the limits of the police station of which he is in charge, or to which he is attached, and that such thing cannot in his opinion be otherwise obtained without undue delay, that police officer may, after recording in writing the grounds of his belief and specifying therein so far as possible, the thing for which search is to be made, search or cause search to be made for such thing in any place within the limits of such station,” reads the Police Act in part.
She also said Nkombo should have reported the matter to a nearest police station where the officer would have been disarmed and subjected to an alcohol test.
“The best that person should have done would be to report that officer at the nearest police station so that they disarm him. Proving his drunken state without subjecting him to alcohol tastes may be challenging. However we need to address the problem,” said Katongo.