DEPUTY Inspector General of Police in charge of operations Bonny Kapeso says Patriotic Front cadres should refrain from taking over the work of the police service.
And Lusaka Province PF secretary Kennedy Kamba says if the party feels Police are not doing things right, they will air out their grievances just like any other Zambian.
Speaking when PF officials led by Kamba held a meeting with him at Sikanze Camp, Tuesday, Kapeso said the ruling party’s security should not try to supersede the police service.
“We will continue providing quality security services to the Zambian people. My honest appeal to you is that we are not ready to create two parallel security organizations in Zambia; private and public. Yes, security is important in your party but your security must not supersede that of the Zambia Police Service. Even when we have national rallies, I have noticed, let us begin to advise our members that the security of the Head of State is a very important thing. Security of the Head of State shall be the responsibility of Zambia Police because that is a VIP and we are trained to handle such situations. I want to discourage political party cadres to refrain from taking over from police officers where you even go inside and cordon off and then you put the police officers at the back, let us reverse that trend because it is dangerously a risk,” Kapeso said.
“Because even a PF member could be treated as an enemy according to the police officers who are mandated to secure the security of the VIP. Your job as security officers…yes, open your eyes and ears and keep your mouth shut. But when you see something, beckon a police officer and tell him or her that ‘we have noticed something fishy’ and the people who are mandated to ensure that the VIP security is maintained will move in accordingly and handle the situation. And we are going to begin to do these things, this is a crusade we have started that needs everybody’s support. And Lusaka having given this example, we will move to the Copperbelt and we will also move to other provinces. I want people of Zambia, especially politicians to use politics of ideas, not politics of confrontations. You are not winning anything. Ensure that your manifesto is totally accepted by the people of Zambia.”
Kapeso told the PF officials to respect institutions of governance.
“We have decided that arising from our immediate past confrontations, if you term it the way, it was portrayed in the papers because I was pictured taking a law breaker physically leading him to my officers for custodial purposes, there were quite a number of issues, quite number of reactions and we have decided as the High Command that in the interest of peace for the Zambian people, Zambia Police Service will begin to engage all political parties on violence. And since the PF is the party in government, we have decided that it is more convenient to begin to engage the party in power. And Lusaka, being what it is as capital city, we have decided to invite our colleagues from Lusaka Province hence the provincial secretary of the PF and his delegation. When you begin to respect the institutions of governance, especially the Zambia Police, I think security in the country will be something that all of us take pride in,” said Kapeso.
And Kamba said the misbehavior of an individual member of the ruling party should not be considered as the position of the PF.
“We are not above reproach and we will never be. That’s why we want the police to engage the party leadership if by any means, any of us who are members of the PF attempts to undermine or interfere with the works of the police. The misbehavior of an individual perceived to be a member of the PF should not be considered as the position or general conduct of the PF. The law must take its course on such individuals. This, however, does not mean that the general membership of the Party and its leaders will not air their grievances when they feel mistreated or unfairly treated by the police,” Kamba said.
“We have a right to respond and protest peacefully of any mistreatment or on any matters that affect us just like any other Zambian or organization. That is why we feel we must dialogue with the custodians of the law. The police now being a service and not a police force should not be brutal towards or against the citizenry. There must be civil means of engagement. The law and the police code of conduct is very categorical on what can be done and what cannot be done. As the PF, we recently protested against the Anti-Corruption Commission because we are convinced it was being used by the opposition to try and ridicule or weaken the Presidency. If we feel that the Police is not doing things right, we will air out our grievances just like any other Zambian has a right to do so but within the confines of the law.”
He said the party held the police in high esteem.
“I want to assure our distinguished men and women in uniform and the general public that contrary to what some people may wrongly perceive as a rift between the police and PF supporters or cadres, the leadership and indeed the general membership of the party enjoys a very cordial relationship with the police command considering that we are expected to be exemplary and lead by example as law abiding citizens. Let me reiterate what I said a few days ago that some people want to portray that the ruling PF as a political monster following a few isolated incidents where some individual members of the party misconducted themselves and found themselves in conflict with the law. The PF has remained true to its core values of a political party that was founded on love for humanity, pro-poor basis and respect for the law. We hold all police officers and the entire police command in high esteem,” he said.
Kamba pledged that the party would work with the police to create a conducive environment for all political players.
“We are wary of the fact that some people who don’t mean well want to continue misleading the public whenever we express displeasure on matters that affect us and our members as a party and they try to think we are taking over the duties of the police. We can’t do that and that’s not our position. We respect the police and their works. As we head towards the elections, we must condemn any form of violence and avoid such misconduct from anyone regardless of political affiliation. We must all pledge to work closely with the police and create a conducive environment for all political players,” said Kamba