NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili says he is extremely disappointed by Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya’s remarks justifying extra judicial killings by the police.
On Wednesday, Siliya, who is also Information Minister, told a media briefing that Zambians should be comforted if police shoot at someone in trying to restore order.
When journalists asked for government’s position on sentiments that government was stained by the blood of those killed by the police during the gassing confusion, Siliya said people should be comforted when police shoot at one person because the mobs had killed more people.
“We should be comforted if the police shoot at somebody in trying to restore order. We should be comforted. What should discomfort us is if criminal activities to continue. That should give us discomfort. Number two, I think that we Zambians now, it can become the order of the day to exhibit mob justice and kill people. 46 people have died so far [and] that should make all of us uncomfortable. When we hear that the police have actually shot at suspects, that should give us comfort. It should not be an issue for anybody to start wanting to create politics and accuse government of the so-called ‘blood on their hands.’ To me, that is extremely narrow thinking. We have a serious issue in our country. None of us here is feeling safe at night. So when we hear that the police have shot at somebody, we should actually be comforted,” said Siliya.
But speaking to journalists at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court, Thursday, Kambwili said Siliya did not deserve to be in government with such kind of thinking.
“I just want to comment and condemn in all and honest terms Honorable [Dora] Siliya’s comment on extrajudicial killings. I am extremely disappointed to hear a government spokesperson justifying extrajudicial killings by the police. Surely, Honorable Siliya you can do better than that. How can you say it’s better for the police to shoot one person than allow a demonstration? What a minister! Bushe iwe wine mukashana Dora Siliya noko wafumine walifundwa fye bwino nangu there is something wrong with your head? (you same woman Dora Siliya, were you taught well where you come from or there is something wrong in your head?),” Kambwili asked.
“Such people are not even supposed to be in government. Those police officers who do extra judicial killings, whether justified or not justified are supposed to appear before the court for murder because there is nobody who is allowed to take the life of any Zambian, whether you are a policeman or not. Those are simple demonstrations that can be quelled by tear gas or water cannons. To kill somebody in cold blood [using] live bullets only on a demonstration and the minister says ‘yes it’s justifiable, it’s better to kill one or two people.’ Please, President Edgar Lungu, analyze and look at these people that you appoint in government.”
Kambwili urged Siliya should apologize for making such a statement.
“I demand an apology from Dora to those people that have been killed. It’s not right. You can’t speak like that. Naimwe ba police, don’t be encouraged to start killing people anyhow because Dora has said that. Dora is confused and what she has said is a lot of nonsense. All over the world, extrajudicial killings are not allowed. And you are speaking against the principles of this government. We are told [that] when people are sentenced to death in Zambia, from about 20 years ago, nobody has been executed but you allow the police to start executing people without proving them guilty in the courts of law. That is extremely disappointing,” said Kambwili.