The UPND says Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja and his Lusaka Province Commissioner Nelson Phiri must be fired for embarrassing the state.

In a statement today, UPND Spokesperson Charles Kakoma said if it was not true that State House and the PF were not involved in the cancellation of the UPND Thanksgiving Service last week, then Kanganja should be fired.

“If it’s true that the police made an independent decision to cancel the Thanksgiving Church service for the release of UPND President Hakainde Hichilema from prison, then police Inspector General, Kakoma Kanganja and Lusaka Province Commissioner of Police must immediately resign for embarrassing the state and abrogating the constitution. If they don’t resign on their own, they must be fired,” Kakoma said.

“Patriotic Front, Secretary General, Davies Mwila, is on record as saying the police independently made the decision to cancel the Thanksgiving Church Service that was supposed to be held on Thursday last week. Amos Chanda, the Press Aide for President Edgar Lungu also said State House had no hand in the bad decision to cancel the church service which was meant to praise and worship God for the release of UPND president, Hakainde Hichilema and other political detainees.”

Kakoma said his party did not believe that the police acted on their own.

“Although we do not believe that police acted on their own, this is a big lesson for the police not to be following blindly instructions from politicians in the ruling party and its government. Now that the police command has been disowned by those in the corridors of power, they should be feeling ashamed of themselves. If it is true that PF and its government was not involved in the cancellation of the Church service , then they should fire the police top command for bringing ridicule to the nation,” he said.

Kakoma said that the cancellation of the thanks giving prayers was retrogressive and an abrogation of the Constitution.

“This cancellation was retrogressive and clearly an abrogation of the constitution. The Zambian constitution clearly provides for freedom to worship and pray. The Zambia police infringed on the rights of those that intended to have the prayer meeting and therefore the Police should be held accountable for this dreadful decision. The Police embarrassed State House, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the entire Nation when they canceled a church service in a Country whose laws protect and uplift Christianity,” Kakoma added.

He added that his party would have every reason to believe that the police command had received instructions from the higher offices to cancel the prayers if Kanganja was not fired.

“International media outlets, such as BBC and Voice of America, ran the story and therefore Zambia was put in bad light in the eyes of the International community. If Kanganja doesn’t resign or get fired alongside his top command, then we will have every reason to believe that he had instructions from the higher offices to abrogate the constitution that he was sworn to protect, uphold and enforce. As a matter of fact, both Amos Chanda and Davies Mwila recently disclosed that the Police had been ‘assisted’ to reverse the decision because it was in bad taste,” said Kakoma.

“This in itself is a glaring admission that we have a problem at the helm of the police and the management of the police service. The police I.G and his top command have dismally failed the people of Zambia. Meanwhile, we would like to appeal to all Zambians to show solidarity and defend the freedom of worship by turning out in large numbers on Tuesday the 29th August 2017 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka to participate in the Thanks Giving Church Service for UPND President Hakainde Hichilema’s release from prison.”