MOVEMENT for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) president Nevers Mumba has expressed disappointment with the manner in which the Police Command has been handling the gassing incidents in the country, saying officers need new strategies to protect citizens.

And Mumba has opposed calls for President Edgar Lungu to declare a state of emergency saying the tension in the country can be ended if both the police and the church do their part.

In an interview, Mumba said it was unfortunate that the police were failing to deal with the suspected killers and were instead killing innocent citizens.

“I think the security forces need to be aware that when one strategy fails, you employ another strategy. They have to defeat this, they have to be smart, their commanders have to devise new ideas on how to stop this and how their presence can be everywhere. Obviously they cannot arrest spiritual beings that are involved in this from the spiritual side. But we are going to deal with that in the spirit world [as the Church]. So I, personally, I am very confident that this thing is going to die down because we are talking the necessary steps,” Mumba said.

“But I am disappointed with the police in the manner in which they are failing to deal with this small thing and instead are killing our own people, the innocent and the afraid – these are the ones that the police are killing. I think that must be stopped and it’s a shame that our own police, instead of dealing with the culprits, they are starting to kill their own people. But I am confident that we are going to have this thing come down if not in the next few days at most in the next few weeks.”

Mumba encouraged police to be bold enough and open up about any challenges they were facing in terms of logistics.

“I am a not a police strategist myself, I can only provide leadership from the Church point of view and I can also provide political leadership. But we have the commanders, the IG of police and his Commissioners in every Province, they should sit down and come up with a plan that works in curbing this issue. Systems where if a report is given that someone is there, they should make it to that place within the shortest time possible. If it means that the police asks the community to help with more vehicles, let them do so. In other countries when there is a crisis, a President can make a decree that any vehicle belonging to a citizen can be used by police to quickly deal with situations. I think they need to deal with situations seriously and I think they need to deal with their response levels. For instance, if I call from my home and say that these people are here, it should not be more than 10 minutes or five minutes before the police arrive. Beyond that, you will find the criminals gone or they would have already killed someone. So the police need to be everywhere and employ a strategy that makes the culprits know that their chances of surviving are very slim and they are going to stop,” Mumba said.

And Mumba opposed calls for a state of emergency.

“I think people are misunderstanding what’s going on, that’s why we are providing leadership from the Church. All that needs to be done is the police and security forces need to ensure that they provide the necessary security and give peace of mind to the citizens of our country that they are going to be safe and even the international community is going to know that we are safe. The other one is for the Church to deal with it because this is not just about killing people, they are killing people for blood. If there was no search for blood, there would be no one being killed, so the Church must deal with the root problem and this is the people that are actually sending those people to go and kill on their behalf. I do not think that there is any need for any state of emergency. All that is needed right now is to ensure that the police do their part and the Church also does its part. And I think the Church in Zambia is mature enough now to deal with this matter and I am sure we shall deal with it,” said Mumba.