National Democratic Congress leader Chishimba Kambwili says the four officers who have been fired for beating up PF cadres in Sesheke will be reinstated in 2021 because they have done nothing wrong.

And UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says it is unfortunate that the officers have been fired for allegedly breaking the law when those who killed Vespers Shimunzhila are still in the service.

Speaking to journalists after attending mass at St Ignatius parish in Lusaka yesterday, Kambwili said it was unacceptable for the President to indirectly tell police officers that officers cannot take action against PF cadres.

“I think we need to put a stop to the way the country is being run. People have been killed in the past by police, police have never been dismissed. Police have beaten the opposition supporters, they have never been dismissed. Now because these officers beat up PF thugs who went with all sorts of weapons to cause violence in Sesheke, the police officers have been dismissed. I can only tell those officers that their dismissal is short lived. Let them be patient, they will be reinstated because they have not committed any offense. We cannot have a situation where the President, the Minister of Home Affairs are indirectly telling the police that you cannot take action against PF cadres, because that is what they are doing, even when they came to Parliament to demonstrate, that was illegal,” Kambwili said.

“Laura Miti, Pilato and the rest were arrested over a similar protest, we haven’t heard any arrest of a PF cadres for coming to Parliament on Thursday. Besides, it is a sign of having a very useless Secretary General because if he can allow his cadres to go to Parliament illegally and demonstrate that they want to fish out an elected member of parliament, then that Secretary General does not belong to politics, that Secretary General must be a boxer or worse still a fisherman and I think Mwila needs to resign.”

Kambwili said not only would the officers be reinstated in 2021, they would also be paid their salaries for the time they would have spent at home.

“When Imbwili comes, they will be reinstated, they have just gone on leave. They will be reinstated and all the money will be paid back to them for the time they will be in the compound. Let them go and arrest those who killed Vespers at the University of Zambia. Let them go and arrest those who killed UPND cadre in cold blood. I don’t understand my friend Edgar Lungu’s thinking. It’s like I have said, it’s like we don’t have a President, the country is on autopilot. Honestly, if you have Kampyongo as Minister of Home Affairs, what do you expect? Manners from Katondo,” said Kambwili.

And in a statement, Hichilema wondered why the Sesheke officers were fired when those who killed Vespers were still in the service.

“We have noted the continued harassment and firing of civil servants performing their duties lawfully by the PF with dismay. The recent being the firing of police officers who maintained law and order in the Sesheke parliamentary by-election. It is appalling to note how the PF has swiftly concluded that the officers broke the law when for months now no one has been found wanting over the death of a student at the University of Zambia. This is unfortunate. We are aware that young professionals working in government have not only suffered in terms of poor conditions of service but also physical attacks, unlawful dismissals from known PF officials including Mr Edgar Lungu himself as a beneficiary of lawlessness in the country,” Hichilema stated.

“However, we would like to assure all the civil servants and in this case men and women in uniform not to lose hope because once in government, we will give back your jobs. There is nothing good as moving on with a clear conscience especially knowing too well that yours was to serve the country diligently and not a group of select corrupt few. As a party we call on the country to unite against the PF’s continued lawlessness being funded by loans and corruption acquired at the expense of the majority poor. We would also like to appeal to the Nation to remember that actions such as firing of professional civil servants for performing lawful duties such as deterring known PF unruly thugs has the potential to further create anarchy in a country whose economy is already on its knees.”

Hichilema stated that citizens would have no choice but to start defending themselves.

“This is because citizens will have no choice but to defend themselves whenever attacked by the PF corruption and loans funded thugs. Lastly, we call the Nation to action that whenever attacked by the PF thugs, you must defend yourselves because the law and order enforcers have been made unimportant by the PF leadership. Self defence is a constitutional right that each and every citizen of our country enjoys and this is part of the people power which is your power to override the corrupt few in the PF led by Mr Edgar Lungu,” stated Hichilema.