Police on the Copperbelt have warned and cautioned Bahati PF member of parliament Harry Kalaba for holding ‘illegal meetings’ in the province.
But Kalaba has told police that he is a free citizen who is at liberty to move, visit relatives and pray at any church of his choice.
Kalaba arrived at Copperbelt police headquarters at 10:05 hours with a number of supporters among them Chipili member of Parliament Jewis Chabi.
Kalaba was also accompanied by his lawyer Musa Mwenye.
After was ushered into the police station, police chased journalists and sympathizers from the police premises and cordoned off Buteko Avenue which leads to Ndola Central Police station.
Addressing journalists after Kalaba left the police station, Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga revealed that the former Foreign Affairs Minister had been warned and cautioned for holding illegal meetings in the province.
“We called the former Minister of Foreign Affairs honorable Harry Kalaba member of parliament for Bahati in connection with several illegal meetings that he has been holding on the Copperbelt and to the best of our knowledge, there has been no notification of those meetings as per requirement of the public order act. Some of the meetings have been in public and others, indoor meetings and he has been doing this with impunity so we thought it was important that he be called, and he has been warned and cautioned for the several meetings that he has been holding,” Katanga said.
“For example, on 31st August 2018, in Chingola, he held an illegal meeting without notification of police in Luano area of Chingola. Then on 31st August again between 15:30 and 18:00 hours at Park Lodge in Kansenshi residential area, he held a meeting comprising of over 25 people. In Kitwe district on 2nd July, between 17:00 hours and 18:00 hours at the residence of a Mr Patrick Chibeshi, who is his supporter in Luangwa township in Kitwe, he addressed a meeting comprising of 20 supporters. All this, there was no notification over the intended meetings as per law required. On 20th March around 15:00 hours at the residence of Mr Maleta Kasonde, a former NDC Copperbelt provincial secretary in Riverside, Kitwe, he addressed a meeting which was attended by over 15 people as he made a stop over in Kitwe enroute to Mansa. On 20th July between 16:00 hours and 17:00 hours at plot number 1710, Kalukanya township in Mufulira, honorable Kalaba held a meeting of over 30 people, all these are on record and on 4th February 2018 between 13 and 17:00 hours, honorable Kalaba held a meeting at St Mary’s Mission hall of a Catholic Church in Kabundia ward attended by over 50 people. All this, there has been no notification. And he has been mobilizing the so called Kalaba movement where they have been attending all these various meetings. All these have not followed the law as per requirement.”
Katanga said Kalaba had also been attending several church meetings to mobilize his movement.
“Equally, this Kalaba movement is not even registered with the societies. It is in this vein that we though it was important that the MP abides by the law otherwise, they would face the wrath of the law itself. So he has been warned and cautioned, that we are aware about these secret meetings that he has been holding with impunity without following the law. So he is warned that we are going to arrest him if he continues with the same meetings without following the law. We are aware that it is the citizen’s right to hold meetings but these should be done within the confines of the law. Sometimes, under the guise of having attended to some of the meetings at the churches, he mobilizes his team and then thereafter holds illegal meetings without notifying the police,” said Katanga.
“During the time that he was summoned this morning, some of his supporters almost caused confusion here which has resulted into two being picked by police and are charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace. I will not allow lawlessness in my division as anyone who is going to do so will do so at his own peril. And Honorable Kalaba is no exception. He is expected, irrespective of his political affiliation or standing, to abide by the law. And we expect nothing short of a person of his standing who has held one of the highest offices in the land, that of being a minister of foreign affairs.”
But Kalaba told police that he is a free citizen who is at liberty to move, visit relatives and pray at any church of his choice.
“I am a citizen and I have a Constitutional right to move, visit relatives and friends and to pray where I wish to pray and these charges are predetermined, I am not saying anything more,” said Kalaba after police read out the charges to him.