A Lusaka based mechanic Daniel Tembo has accused Sports Permanent Secretary Joe Kapembwa and his family of assaulting him after they picked a quarrel over a car problem.

But Kapembwa told News Diggers in an interview that he was protecting his son, and denied being drunk during the fracas that happened in Chilenje on Sunday.

Narrating the ordeal, Tembo who was detained at Chilenje police complained that police arrested him despite being the victim.

“That man had brought a car to my garage for fixing on Saturday. It’s a Benz 203 and the sample was broken so it was fixed and collected. Now on Sunday, apparently the car stopped working somewhere in NIPA area and so the PS got angry. In fact, when they were working on the car, I wasn’t even around, I am a director I don’t spend too much time at the garage. So for me I just heard the next day that the car had failed to start,” Tembo narrated.

He (Kapembwa) came to my garage very drunk with his wife, son and daughter around 15:00 hours and started demanding to see a mechanic. He kept saying ‘do you know who I am?’ So me I said ‘here we don’t care who you are because we are just concerned about knowing the cars which you bring’. I called a mechanic to go with them to check on the car but just as they were about to start off, something happened, I think the son to the PS insulted him and he opted not to go with them because he felt threatened that maybe he would be beaten.”

He said after he told the mechanic not to proceed, the PS got angry and attacked him.

“So for me, I advised the mechanic to say okay, don’t go there maybe he should come here when he is sober. When I just said ‘don’t go there’, the PS literally jumped with his wife and the rest of the family to grab me and they even tore my t-shirt and broke a compressor which is worth about K20,000 which is at the garage. They hit me at the back of my head, on my knee and other parts, I have a medical report and a sick note which I was given. I was even given three days sick leave. So just as they were grabbing and hitting me, I pushed them and they just fell because they are all short,” he narrated.

“I went to report at Libala Police and even gave a statement there. I didn’t come here at Chilenje first because they had torn my t-shirt and I wanted to change at home which is just there in Libala near Winners’ Chapel. Now, I was shocked yesterday when I came here (Chilenje Police) to report the case here that I was the one who ended up being arrested and locked up. Some of us are being treated like second class citizens and they will keep beating us because we don’t have anyone to help us. At my garage, so many people had come to watch what the PS was doing. But now I am the one who is being accused of assault.”

Tembo demanded that Kapembwa must also be arrested.

Assault victim Daniel Tembo with his Mechanics shop manager Corneilus at Chilenje Police station where he was detained yesterday – picture by Mukosha Funga

“I am just shocked that I was arrested but he hasn’t been arrested when he is the one who attacked me with his family. Just because he is a PS, a controlling officer, he can be treated special because everyone freezes when he arrives at the police. Even for the police bond, yesterday the arresting officer ran away to avoid signing because he fears that he can be transferred to some remote area for resisting orders. Our police, who swear to protect us are failing in their duties because of such unlawful orders,” complained Tembo.

Below is the interview with Kapembwa in which he gave his side of the story.

Q. We have a story where a mechanic is accusing you and your family of assaulting him and I thought I should call you to get your side of the story so that we can publish a balanced article.

A. No we didn’t [assault him].

Q. He says that you went to his garage and you were upset about a car which they fixed but it wasn’t properly fixed

A. It’s my son’s car. They had an argument, so that’s what happened.

Q. They are saying that you were very drunk and you assaulted the man

A. Have you seen the man?

Q. Yes I have

A. How does he look? Does he look like he was assaulted?

Q. Yes he does.

A. Really?

Q. Yes, and he said he went to report you at Libala Police but then when he got to Chilenje police to also make a report there, you had apparently also gone there to complain and had him arrested.

A. He tried to assault my son. So I was trying to calm the situation, that’s it.

Q. Who made the report at Chilenje Police? Was it you or your son?

A. (10 seconds silence) Where are you? Where are you calling from?

Q. From Nyumba Yanga in Lusaka.

A. Okay so what does the police say at Chilenje police? Have you contacted them?

Q. Well, I called you because I am trying to establish the truth because these cases of assault are always about ‘he said’ ‘she said’. So I thought before publishing anything I should get to you, lay down the allegations which have been made against you and give you an opportunity to give us your side of the story.

A. Probably what you need to do is to get to Chilenje, ask the CIO because he tried to assault my son. My son is the owner of the car, not me. So the issue of me being drunk is not there because he wanted to assault my son. You understand? If someone wants to assault your child, what would you do? Don’t you think you would protect your child? We tried to reason with him, he couldn’t reason with us. So I think let not people put in things which are not there. The issue is that of an unsolved case, he didn’t do a job and that’s why he is in police. So I think for you, what you need to do is get the actual facts, don’t start accusing people of being drunk. The issue is ‘was there a problem with the car?’ That is the issue here. So don’t put in things that are not in the story. He didn’t fix the car properly, we went to bring it to his attention, he didn’t want to listen and in the process he wanted to assault my son, that’s it. So don’t bring in other issues which you cannot verify. Verify about the car and find out if the car was fixed. Otherwise, any other issues, I do not agree to. So get your facts correct and then go to the police and then they will tell you.

Q. So you are ready to take this matter all the way to court?

A. I think this is an issue that u need to discuss with the police.

Q. Okay, anything else you might want to add?

A. No, it is a police case so I don’t think I have anything to add.

Q. Okay, thank you so much

A. Did you find out why he went to report to Libala when he was supposed to report to Chilenje?

Q. He said you tore his clothes so he went home to change because he lives in Libala and then he reported at Libala Police.

A. (laughs) really? So how could I tear his clothes when it was my son’s car which was in the problem?

Q. Maybe whilst you were trying to defend your son?

A. I don’t think so, that’s not true. Alright, thanks.

Q. Okay, thank you. Bye

A. Bye