UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma says President Edgar Lungu should not just pray, but take action to ensure that the perpetrators of gassing are brought to book.
In an interview, Kakoma said while President Lungu’s prayers for the country were welcome, he ought to take concrete action to weed out the criminals behind the ongoing gassing of various building infrastructure around the country because faith without works was obsolete.
“What is needed is a combination of factors. Of course, we need prayers because we will need to commute these problems to God. But even the Bible says that, ‘faith without action is void.’ It doesn’t work. We need concrete action on the ground to sort out the problem of gassing. We need the police and the State to investigate and come up with the truth of what is happening and what is causing this gassing situation? Who are the involved culprits,” Kakoma said.
“Yes, there must be prayers, but there also must be action. If we just say, ‘let us pray’ without sorting out the matter on the ground, this matter will continue and more people will lose their lives. When the President keeps quiet for a long time, that is why people conclude that maybe the State knows something. One of the suspects in Chingola is appearing in court for terrorism charges. But who are these terrorists? Are they local or international terrorists? And what is the terror all about? For those people that they have interviewed and charged with terrorism, what is the motive?”
Kakoma said the police should also inform the public on the findings of their investigations to avoid speculation.
“We also need the State through the police to be adequately informing and updating the nation on what is going on. We need the progress in arresting the situation. The silence is what is creating this vacuum, speculation and rumours. And when there is silence from the State, people believe in the rumours and this is what is contributing to the mob injustices because the State is not telling the people even on what gas they are using? They are not telling the people on what to do if you are gassed; they are not telling the people how far they have gone in arresting these people. People are taking the law in their own hands,” he said.
And Kakoma observed that failure to conclude investigations on the gassers was making citizens think the State was involved.
“And in some cases, people are concluding that the people who the police are arresting are not being taken to court, but instead they are being released. The police must be able to provide information even if they have released them. They must tell the people why they have released them. It could be maybe that they have not found evidence linking the suspects, but the most important thing is that they must tell the public rather than keeping quiet. Otherwise, when they keep quiet, the public will conclude that they are conniving with the suspects to release them. People have lost confidence in the police and that is why they are taking the law into their own hands,” Kakoma lamented.
Meanwhile, a Lusaka woman, identified as Inonge Namuya, said the Lord will avenge her brother’s passing.
Her brother was killed by a mob on suspicion that he was one of the gassers.
“Today, marks one week since you met your fate, my brother Muyapekwa Mukelabai. Being burnt alive like an animal is something I have failed to believe to-date. You were a good child, a young man who was full of respect and love. Leaving behind your wife and children is something one can never wish. Your assailants have gained, but we have lost. At least a few individuals who were present recall very well how you pleaded to have your life spared, but they never listened and went ahead to beat you with planks and broke your legs and later set you ablaze. Go well, my brother. Identifying your body was the most horrifying moment I have ever experienced. Revenge is for the Lord. I still stand because I don’t take pleasure in seeing any human being tortured,” stated Nayuma.