POLICE in Muchinga Province have officially arrested and charged Jeyson Chipepo with desertion and seditious practices, saying he wanted to bring government into hatred.
Muchinga Province Police Commissioner Joel Njase has asked officers seeking to join politics to resign, further cautioning cops to be cautious of their choice of words in public.
On July 16, 2020, Chipepo announced his resignation in a Youtube video, saying he could not continue working under a Police Command that was politically controlled and infiltrated by political party cadres.
The Central Province Police Command arrested and detained Chipepo at Kapiri-Mposhi Police Station on Monday before he could be transported to Nakonde Police Station in Muchinga Province where he allegedly committed the offence of desertion.
And in a statement, Njase confirmed that Chipepo had been rearrested and charged desertion and seditious practices after he published utterances believed to have been aimed at exciting disaffection against the government.
“This is a matter in which Muchinga Division has arrested and charged the above mentioned officer for two offences, namely; desertion contrary to section 26(d) of the Zambia Police Act of the laws of Zambia and that of seditious practices contrary to section 57(1), (b) and (c) as read together with section 60(1), (b) and (e) of the Penal Code of the laws of Zambia. In the first count, facts of the matter are that Sergeant Chipepo being a dully attested member of the Zambia Police Service and deployed at Nakonde Police Station did without lawful excuse absent himself from duty for more than 28 days without the intention of returning back for duty starting from the 7th of February, 2020 up to the date of his arrest on 19th July, 2020,” Njase stated.
“The officer has in the second count been charged with seditious practices contrary to section 57(1), (b) and (c) as read together with section 60(1), (b) and (e) of the Penal Code, Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia as outlined earlier. Facts of this case are that on unknown dates but between 16th and 19th July, Sergeant Chipepo did utter and public seditious material with an intention of bringing into hatred or contempt or to excite dissatisfaction against the Government of Zambia or further, with an intention of raising discontent or dissatisfaction among the people of Zambia.”
The Commissioner further asked police officer wishing to engage in active politics to resign.
“Let me take this opportunity to advise and warn police officers wishing to engage in politics, to resign through laid down procedures in writing to the Inspector General of Police. Further, that being Public Service employees and dealing with national security, careful choice of words in public is critical. Every person in Zambia has guaranteed constitutional rights to express themselves but that such expressions, must not risk our national security and peace we enjoy. As Zambia Police, we remain loyal to the government of the day and our Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In light of this; let’s promote respect for the rule of law, in a manner that enhances unity in our country,” stated Commissioner Njanse.
Sergeant Chipepo is currently in police custody and shall soon appear in court.