INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says the growing trend of thugs attacking radio stations under the excuse of politics is criminal and should come to an end immediately.
And Kanganja has advised members of the public to stay away from courts if they do not have cases in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Sunday, Kanganja said any person who felt offended by the content of any interview should follow the due process of the law by registering their grievances to the police instead of taking the law into their own hands.
“It has been observed that there is a growing tendency of political party cadres storming police stations with impunity as has been the case in the recent incidents recorded in Lusaka and the Copperbelt provinces where some cadres were seen protesting or causing confusion at police stations. Invasion of radio stations by political cadres whenever a political figure is being hosted has continued with the recent one being in Mufulira district of the Copperbelt province. Another area of concern is the unending provocation, clashes and attacks happening at grave sites by these same political cadres,” Kanganja stated.
“I want to remind everyone that Zambia is a democratic country which has laws in place and any person who may feel aggrieved by the conduct of another should follow the due process of the law in lodging their complaints as opposed to abrogating provisions of the law. Furthermore, the growing trend of thugs attacking radio stations under the guise of politics is criminal and should come to an end forthwith. Any person who may feel offended by content of any interview should follow the due process of the law by registering their grievances to the police or other relevant authorities and not taking the law into their own hands.”
Kanganja said the disrespect towards the police would be faced with full wrath of the law.
He said the tolerance of police officers should not be taken for weakness.
“I want to warn all those who think they are above the law that being a law enforcement agency, the Zambia police shall not sit and watch the unruly conduct of political party cadres take its toll. The tolerance which my police officers have been exercising should not be taken for weakness. We shall not at any point tolerate any misconduct or thuggery behavior by anyone irrespective of their political affiliation and I am calling on all police officers to ensure that such criminal conduct comes to an end,” Kanganja stated.
“I also want to remind political players that police stations are not play grounds for them hence any disrespectful conduct towards the police by any individual will be met with the full wrath of the law. Provisions of the police act, criminalizes any discreditable conduct at a police station and as such, any action by the police in this regard should not be taken as intimidation. Our role as the police is to ensure that law and order prevails hence anything to the contrary will not be entertained.”
Meanwhile, Kanganja said political leaders should play their role of sensitizing their cadres on the need to tolerate each other as they conduct their political activities.
“In the same vein, I want to advise that individuals without cases at courts of law should stay away especially this time when we are faced with the Covid 19 pandemic. Police will ensure that only those with cases in court access court premises. Any resistance to this directive shall attract equal reaction from the police so as to ensure compliance. There is need for all political players to sober up and adopt civil politics unlike the growing intolerance and thuggery witnessed in the recent past,” stated Kanganja.
“Political leaders at different levels should play their role in sensitizing their cadres on the need to tolerate each other as they conduct their political activities. It is possible for all political parties to carry out their activities peacefully and this calls for personal and collective discipline and responsibility. We should always remember that attainment of a peaceful environment is a shared responsibility. I want to emphasize that it will not be business as usual as I have directed my officers to be firm on the ground and apply the law accordingly.”