Four Hot FM Radio presenters yesterday pissed off Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja after they called him incompetent unfit for his position.
This came in the wake of an attack on Radio Maria in Chipata and Power FM in Kabwe, orchestrated by notorious PF cadres who were not arrested until State House Press Aide Amos Chanda gave a directive for police to take action.
During their Red Hot Breakfast show, Monday, Mutale Mwanza, Hope Chishala, Kenny ‘Flava’ Musonda and Peter ‘Pzee’ Zulu took turns to roast the Police chief, further calling for his dismissal.
But Kanganja wondered how ‘journalist’ could depart from their professional call of duty.
Mutale wondered why Kanganja was still IG despite several examples of his “incompetence” to manage the Zambia Police Service.
She questioned whether or not the IG was a cadre for him to be acting on instructions from State House.
“Would we have seen these cadres arrested if the President didn’t give a directive that they be arrested? Was that going to happen? So, the question is very simple. Is the Inspector General of Police fit for purpose? What is he for? Is he a cadre? What is he doing if he cannot make sure that the rule of law is enforced? And equally, why are opposition leaders prone to arrests as opposed to PF cadres? Cadres can’t storm a radio station and the police don’t arrest them? What is the police Inspector General for?” Mutale wondered.
At this point, Pzee chipped in, saying police were selective in the application of the law.
“Opposition political parties can’t have rallies, it’s not safe, but all of a sudden, there was a protest march. Remember, the whole lot of last week, there has been talk about a section in the PF that wants to have Davies Mwila removed as PF SG. We saw huge numbers of PF youths marching in the streets, where did they get the permit?” Pzee asked.
Mutale concurred with him, saying: “They (PF cadres) were given a permit to picket at Parliament. PF cadres are given permits on the Copperbelt to do a lot of things. What it is here is, we just want to see a situation where it looks like the law is being selective or maybe is that what it is?”
Pzee then said maybe the IG was still waiting for the Head of State to give him other instructions to grant opposition political parties permits.
Mutale insisted that there was selective application of the law, citing examples.
“The point we are discussing today is police’s inability to execute their duties and it does include issuing permits. They are selective when issuing permits. How is it that more PF cadres, more PF people are able to get permits to protest? The NDC on this very show have said: ‘it’s been very difficult to even just protest against…like in Luanshya there was an issue with workers [and] they couldn’t get a permit to protest and say: ‘look, poor working conditions and stuff like that.’ They couldn’t get a permit, but it was a genuine thing. So, they were denied a permit. I don’t want to take you way back,” Mutale said.
She said the IG had failed to deliver, hence the need for him to go.
“The NDC on October 14, 2018, were denied a permit to hold a public consultative meeting in Chingola on the Copperbelt, but the PF cadres were given a permit to protest to Parliament; they were given a permit on the Copperbelt to march against the ZAFFICO issue; they were given a permit as well here to protest against the removal of the SG. So, they are selective in the application of the law. So, it brings us back to the question that is the Inspector General of Police a PF cadre? Is he fit for purpose? If he is, what is he doing? Looking at the state of affairs, what exactly is he doing to help the situation and execute the mandate of the police? We have Vespers, we have so many other issues that we can cite. Sesheke, it’s a shame! Sesheke was a damn shame! Is the IG fit for purpose? The law should be applied fairly. So, is that what we are seeing today? If he is not doing what he should be doing, why do we still have him in the office? Being fired is not a nice thing, but if you can’t deliver, you must go,” demanded Mutale.
Hope then added her voice to the discussion, saying it was wrong for the IG to run the country like a “Micky Mouse Club House” because people’s lives were at stake.
“The President’s (press) aide (Amos Chanda) issued a statement over the weekend regarding arresting cadres and the police have responded to the President’s call to enforce the law. So, immediately, the President speaks, there is movement and what about the times when the President doesn’t speak and there are like really serious issues? That is a source of concern. Also, the President has seen the way things have been going in the country, the state of affairs, why can’t he act? Kakoma Kanganja is unfit to be in office, period! Mr Kanganja for me is soft, he is toothless! There are so many reasons that we can cite as to why I have personally come to this conclusion. We are running a country. This is not a Micky Mouse club! People’s lives are at stake. Vespers’ issue, Sesheke, look at police lawlessness? This man is micro-managed, remote control,” Hope said.
Flava then suggested that some positions in government were ceremonial, as officer holders always wait for instructions for them to act.
“Again, when you look at the President directing people that he has appointed either a Minister of IG or whoever it is, it tells you one thing: that some of these positions are probably just ceremonial and people have titles on paper and they can’t act because if the IG did not carry out his duties independently, then he shouldn’t be in that position. Sometimes because of what’s going on you start wondering whether there is leadership because look at how the police themselves are taking their own lives when the guns are supposed to protect people? Maybe, there is a problem at the top and there are no deliberate policies to basically talk to these people,” Flavour said.
In concluding the discussion, Mutale said as a concerned Zambian, she felt some government personnel needed to be fired for not performing.
“Truth is, we’ve seen a lot of nonsense going on and why we are having this discussion right now is because I, as a Zambian, I feel there is lot of cleaning up that needs to be done. If there are people who need to be fired for not performing, they should be fired because Zambia is bigger than any other individual,” said Mutale.
Meanwhile, after someone posted a tip in the official Zambia Police Service WhatsApp group notifying the command about the ongoing programme, Kanganja questioned the professionalism of the radio presenters.
“Are they journalists or just presenters? Professionalism! Where has it gone?” wrote Kanganja in the group.
But when contacted to defend himself on the concerns raised by the presenters, Kanganja did not pick-up calls by press time.
He also opted not to respond to follow-up questions from journalists in the group on whether or not he had been given a chance to respond during the radio programme.