People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti has advised Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga to exercise maximum restraint when dealing with traditional leaders.
Last week, Katanga warned that Chietainess Lesa of the Lamba speaking people in Mpongwe would be arrested for inciting violence.
The threat followed a land dispute between Chieftainess Lesa and Chief Mwinuma where it has emerged that the Chieftainess allegedly instructed her subjects to go and set ablaze a house belonging to the rival chief.
“Chietainess Lesa will be warned against threatening violence which is creating anarchy in the area. She has elected to use the criminal way of doing things. The chief is no exception and she will get the wrath of the police, me and the law,” said Katanga before recording a warn and caution statement from the traditional leader.
But in an interview, Mulongoti condemned Katanga’s threats, urging her to respect the Chieftainess.
“It is expected that public service workers show respect for our chiefs. Even when our chiefs make a mistake, don’t go to the public and show that you are able to humiliate them. I don’t think it is right in our African etiquette to demean a chief like that. So I would want to advise Katanga, she’s just being too aggressive for no reason. It is not long ago when she was threatening Harry Kalaba and today it’s a chief, no no no! Leadership is about sitting with people and finding solutions. Now if you and threaten a chief like that, what if the chief asks the subjects to disobey whatever the police do, what will happen? Charity Katanga is not the only leader, the chief is also a leader in her own respect and I would expect her (Katanga) to respect her (Chieftains Lesa). If there are any problems, sit with the chief. Don’t go to a place and say ‘I am going to lock her up she’s being whatever whatever’, we don’t want to hear that. What we want is a public work who’s got respect for others,” Mulongoti said.
Mulongoti wondered whom Katanga was trying to please.
“Who is she trying to please? It’s too late! Recognition from who? This is an administration which is on it’s way out why does she want to waste her time like that? She should not do that. She is still young and she must protect her future and her future cannot be in a regime which is on it’s way out. Her future must be in the people of Zambia and she must make peace with everybody, so she must make peace with everybody in Zambia. All other police chiefs are being respectful and are not playing to the gallery. But she wants to choose to play to the gallery, who is she trying to please? She can’t be so disrespectful, that job she’s carrying, she is carrying it on behalf of the people and because of that, we expect her to exercise maximum restraint and show some dignity. She has to give other people some dignity as well. The fact that they some difficulties there, is that a new issue in the country? There are problems all over the country, so what? Being a police officer does not mean that you must go and start demeaning traditional leadership, Katanga will not get anywhere if that’s the attitude she is going to take,” said Mulongoti.