MUCHINGA Province Police Division has launched a manhunt for Jeyson Chipepo, a Sergeant who they say has been absent from duty since February 2, 2020.

The manhunt was launched after Chipepo published a video in which he detailed why he had decided to resign from the service.

He explained that he decided to resign from public service because of harassment by political cadres and political interference in his work.

“Today the 16th of July, 2020, I have decided to resign from the public service because of the things that I have noticed that I am not happy with. You know, when certain things are happening in life, you are expected to take responsibility and I have just decided personally to take responsibility on what is happening in Zambia. I have a lot of questions that people have not answered and I have written letters so that I can get answers on these issues, but I have never gotten answers. So I have decided to resign today,” Chipepo said.

Chipepo lamented that political party cadres, especially those from PF, were making the job of the police difficult.

“I really don’t know why we’ve allowed political parties to have their own security systems amongst themselves. I want to know, why we have allowed cadres or political parties to have security systems amongst themselves? We’ve seen PF security, UPND security, NDC security… why? Ultimately, the only security system that is allowed in this country is the Zambia Police. We are the State Police and we are trained to provide security for our people. But why should we have another organ helping us to do our job?” Chipepo asked.

“Moreover, the PF are in government and they have got access to state police; anytime they want us, we are always available for them. When you give someone a mandate to say ‘you are a security person’, then that’s their mandate and they would want to prove why they are getting a salary on that job. So when you give someone a job to say ‘you are a security personnel in our political party’ that person has to do something. So that is where we’ve lost it because we have allowed these political parties to have these so called ‘security’. But this is something we have to do away with immediately because it is degrading our morals and disturbing our peace. Me I am a victim, cadres have threatened my life before, especially PF cadres. Cadres have the right to abuse the law with impunity in this country. Why have degenerated to these levels? What’s the role of those cadres with big muscles and big chests, what’s their role? If we aspire to lead this country, we should have enough confidence in the State Police that will give the needed security.”

Chipepo also lamented that some undeserving people were ending up in the service while those with a genuine passion were left out.

“For a long time now we’ve been training criminals in this country. We’ve been training them on how to hold a firearm, how to shoot…all military tactics and at the end of the day we don’t employ them. I am talking about the school cadets, there is no chance that those cadets will be employed in the service because when recruitments come, it’s the sons and daughters of cadres who get those jobs. That’s the Zambia that we’ve created. This is why we have undisciplined police officers today, people who cannot provide the necessary security for our people. We are leaving out the cadets that we have been training from a young age who have passion,” he said.

Chipepo said political violence was being fueled by those who wished to remain in power.

“They’ve impoverished you then they come again to start thriving on your poverty, is that what you want for yourself? Some of these things, we have to start questioning the credibility of the people we are putting in these offices. The current political violence is not a mistake, it’s being fueled by people who think the only way they can stay in office is by fighting the people that put them into office,” Chipepo said.

And Chipepo said he was not hiding and was ready to be contacted if police wanted to arrest him.

“I am ready for you in whatever capacity. Let me make it so clear to you that even if you take me to prison today, my voice will never be silenced. I have just terminated the job which I love so dearly for this. So you should know that I will be so dedicated, I will be dedicated such that you will never sneeze without me interfering. I will talk about the corruption in whichever way I feel like, I will talk about good governance and in my own words because when you are a public officer, you are bound to public scrutiny…I am in Lusaka, if you want to talk to me, if you want to arrest me, if you want to talk about me, please that is the number to call (0974656609). I am not running away. What I know is that I haven’t insulted, I have just resigned on moral ground. I want to take responsibility for my country, which I feel is degrading,” said Chipepo in a video which you can watch here.

“The people that are in the civil service have gone to school, they understand leadership very well and if they don’t see it, they become frustrated. You are frustrating people and right now I am telling you this, a lot of the civil servants are frustrated simply because you can’t provide leadership. You’ve failed to provide leadership and that’s why people are frustrated. Officers-In-Charge are frustrated, teachers are frustrated because they can’t see leadership coming up. The things we’ve started tolerating are things that shouldn’t be tolerated in this country.”

But in a notice issued on July 16, 2020 by the Muchinga Province Police Command, all Police Divisions across the country were directed to arrest and detain Chipepo if found, saying he had been absent from duty for too long and had been declared a deserter.

“Be informed that this division is looking for No. 43888 Sergeant Chipepo Jeyson of Nakonde Police Station – Muchinga Division. The officer has been absent from duty from 2nd February, 2020 and has since been declared a deserter. If seen please arrest, detain and inform this division for escort,” read the notice.

And in a statement Sunday, Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo said the Zambia Police Service had not yet received any communication from Chipepo regarding his resignation.

“In view of the video circulating on social media depicting Sergeant Jeyson Chipepo, Police in Muchinga Province have been looking for the said officer after being absent from duty for a long time which is against section 26 (d) of the Zambia Police Act cap 107. The officer last reported on duty on 02nd February, 2020 and Police have not yet received any communication from him on his resignation. According to the police act, Desertion is an offence committed by police officers who abscond from duty for a stipulated period of time and this is a matter triable by the Criminal Courts of Law,” stated Katongo.