POLICE are guarding National Democratic Congress (NDC) Roan member of Parliament Joseph Chishala’s residence in Luanshya District on the Copperbelt after some irate residents threatened to torch him and his property.
Copperbelt Province Police Commissioner Charity Katanga confirmed to News Diggers! that Chishala’s house was under police guard, saying “everyone has the right to be protected”.
Chishala himself claimed he was not aware that people were planning to burn him or his house as he was out of town at the time of the interview.
Last week, Chishala defied his party’s position by opting to stay in Parliament to vote on the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019.
This was despite other members of the opposition walking out of the House, thereby denying the Patriotic Front the much-needed two-thirds majority to pass the Bill.
After Parliament was prematurely adjourned due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Zambia, Chishala held a press conference with top PF officials where he insisted that his decision to defy his party’s position on the controversial Bill 10 was in the interest of his constituents.
“All that propaganda going round that I have been compromised; I have shifted, I have gone to PF, that is a blue lie. What I can tell you, the nation and the people of Roan is that, I am still NDC, and I am in Parliament as NDC; I am not in Parliament as PF. Therefore, whatever move I make in Parliament, I make it for the sake of the people of Roan. My stay in Parliament, I do it according to the way I feel it will benefit the people of Roan. There is no need for me to walk out of Parliament, I want to assure the people of Roan that I will never walk out of Parliament at all cost, I would rather fight from inside the House. I don’t see any sense in walking out because the people of Roan voted for me to debate in Parliament and not to walk out. I don’t see how I will formulate laws outside Parliament; laws are formulated from inside Parliament so walking out for me doesn’t make sense,” said Chishala at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel.
But some Roan residents did not take the lawmaker’s sentiments kindly as they felt betrayed.
Sources spoken to told News Diggers! that some groups of people threatened to torch him, prompting police to provide security.
Katanga, however, said she had not received any report of an attempt to torch Chishala or his house, but confirmed that police were guarding his residence.
“I don’t have such a report. I am saying I don’t know about the report; there is no report; there is no such a report. That is what I have mentioned,” Katanga said.
“Every member of the public has a right to be guarded if there is a threat to his life. I don’t know what it is you want me to say; you asked if he is being guarded, I said yes; any member of the public has the right to be guarded if his life is [under] threat. So, what else do you want me to answer, sir? If you want more answers, get from police headquarters. I have told you, yes, there are police officers there (at Chishala’s house). Yes, there are police officers there.”
And when asked to confirm if the threats to burn him alive or torch his house were true, Chishala dismissed the story as fake.
“Who told you that? That is a lie, maybe they have mistaken me. Because yesterday (Wednesday), I was even out of town, I was in Ndola; I came very late around 20.00 hours, somewhere there. Maybe let me go to the community, I will get more information because right now, I am heading to the constituency, that is where I can gather information,” said Chisala in an interview.