Civil rights activist Brebner Changala says the death of Vespers Shimuzhila last week was the ordination of newly-appointed Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations Bonny Kapeso.

Shimuzhila, a fourth year student at the University of Zambia, died of suffocation last Thursday, after police burnt one of the hostels using teargas during a riot.

Reacting to the tragic events, Changala argued that it was not by coincidence that riots broke out at UNZA resulting into the death of one student just after the former Southern Province police chief was sworn-in as the new Deputy IG in charge of operations.

He insisted that the only qualification for Kapeso’s promotion was brutality.

“In a democracy and a free market economy, tolerance is a hallmark. To tolerate each other, to listen to each other and give each other space is very important. Now we are dealing with a government that is intolerant, a government that has convinced itself that governance is the police. Every issue must be sorted out by the police and that is instilling fear in the citizens! And if you see, even in this collapse of the economy, those who will talk too much will have to be handled by the police because that is all they know now, you have to govern through the arm of the police and that is the more reason they have elevated Bonny Kapeso as Deputy Inspector-General of Police for operations because they enjoy his brutality. That is the qualification for Kapeso to become deputy IG; it’s for one simple reason: to come and terrorise the people Zambia,” Changala charged in an interview with News Diggers!

“Is it by coincidence that no sooner he is sworn-in and a student is killed at the University of Zambia, is it by coincidence? No! That is the ordination of Kapeso as the deputy IG; that is a grand entry into the echelons of power by Bonny Kapeso. The hallmark of Bonny Kapeso is brutality and for the PF, that is the qualification for his promotion. There is so much destruction of our democratic institutions and there is so much of the abuse of the police against the people of Zambia. Even on minor issues; Laura Miti wants to march, the police are saying, ‘you can’t’. But who tells them that they have that power? The Constitution says, ‘you have the right to assemble, to associate and communicate’, now the PF says, ‘no, the new Constitution is the police’ and this is where all these challenges are coming from.”

And Changala concurred with UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who recently called on Zambians to unite and ensure that PF was out of office in the next election.

“You don’t need a rocket scientist or indeed any opposition leader to do a prediction. The future or indeed the demise of PF lies in the hands of the PF itself, through their own bad governance and misconduct. It is now very clear that PF is a failed project! They had no plan and, indeed, no vision for this country, hence, the difficulties that we find ourselves in today. If you look at what is happening now, even in the midst of what they are calling ‘global challenges,’ some of the challenges are home-grown. And these are as a result of bad governance and management of both the economy and State institutions. When you look at what we are going through, the government is not giving us a plan B on how to come out because they know nothing! And you don’t need anybody to do a prediction, we are done!” lamented Changala.

“The PF has to go because they have destroyed the social fabric of this country, and most importantly, they have divided this country on tribal lines. So, we are not pulling in one direction as a people. You know, when it comes to the economy, we needed a government, which would sit down with the people and chart the way forward and see how…These challenges are not unusual, we have walked this route before. But when we had economic managers like [late Republican president] Levy Mwanawasa, we came out and overcame these challenges. But now, we are dealing with people who are arrogant, self-serving and have no interest for the people at heart, so they have let the police to govern this country. What we need, collectively, as a people, is to come together and see the way forward because by 2021, we would have all vanished through hunger and pain from the PF.”