Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has told the police command in Western Province to ensure that political parties participating in the Sesheke parliamentary by-election apply to be included on the campaign schedule to avoid conflict.

Speaking when he addressed the police command in Mwandi district, Kampyongo said police officers must work hard the same way they did in Mangango in order to prevent political violence during the Sesheke parliamentary by election scheduled for February 12.

“We are happy to be here and we are happy to be here, to ensure that the preparations for the upcoming by elections are in place, that we are able to hit the ground as soon as the campaigns start. But my appeal to the participating political parties is that they must ensure that they engage you, they sit down with you, in order to appear on the campaign schedules so that there is no clashing. Just like you did in Mangango, I think it will also be equally important that you do the same here,” Kampyongo said.

Kampyongo said government would give the officers the logical support they needed to ensure that they work efficiently during the Sesheke by-election

“We expect you to have the required number of officers on the ground so that the the campaign and voting in the Sesheke by-election go on smoothly. We don’t doubt that the same efforts you had put in in Mangango will be replicated here so that have zero incidents. On our part, we will ensure that we provide you with the logistical support for you to undertake that assignment. We were bombarded with complaints of lack of transport here and I remember before this police station was constructed, you used to operate under that big tree like in the colonial days, with the rim used to holding the suspect. But I am happy that this facility is up despite not having the housing unity. It is one of the issues I want to raise with the traditional leaders here to see how we can be assisted in terms of land so that when we get into the second phase, we can straight away get on the ground and make sure that the land is secured,” Kampyongo said.

And Kampyongo assured the police command that government would construct houses for police officers to cushion accommodation challenges.

“So just assure your officers that just like they have seen their counterparts in other provinces benefiting from the housing project, you will also see something happening in the province. I am sure before the end of this year we could get on the ground. And we are happy that the contractor we are working with is really equal to the task. They are able to finish their projects in some cases even ahead of time. And it’s pleasing to see the morale of officers being boosted because shelter is one of the many conditions of service that everyone looks up to. So we have determined that we are going to cater for as many officers as we can, of course Rome was not built in a day, we have had these challenges over the years. But your commander in chief, the president is always monitoring us to ensure that this project is not derailed,” said Kampyongo.

And speaking earlier, Western Province Police Commissioner Charles Lungu said his officers were facing a serious accommodation crisis.

“This station here has no accommodation, Sesheke which has a highest population in this area has no police camp. The eight houses that are there are dilapidated as they are old. Some of them have people run away from them because of their state. The situation goes up to Sioma, there is no police camp. We were given land by the chief, a contractor was identified and given a project, he disappeared after getting advance payment, we are looking for him so that he can explain why he disappeared. In Nkeyema, Lwampa, Nalolo, the situation is the same in terms of housing for the officers. Help us with accommodation, with the project of constructing houses for officers that is going on country wide, include us as well sir,” said Lungu.