UPND chairman for elections Gary Nkombo has challenged Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo to name the people he claims are enticing defense and security personnel to resign, saying the accusation is alarming and amounts to treason.
And Nkombo has rubbished allegations that the UPND plans to dethrone Paramount Chief Chitimukulu when they form government saying they respect traditional leaders and do not have the instruments to meddle in traditional affairs.
On Friday, Kampyongo condemned Sergeant Jayson Chipepo, who resigned from police citing political interference in the service, saying the officer did not follow laid down procedures for resigning.
Kampyongo charged that the opposition had mooted a ploy to entice security officers to resign in order to discredit government.
“Let me also take this opportunity to condemn the action of one of the undisciplined officers from the Zambia Police Service who opted to resign from the service through social media platforms. Zambia Police Service has well-established procedures to follow at entry into the service as well as the exit of the service, any police officer who wishes to leave the service should follow the outlined procedures as one’s continuity in the service is purely a personal interest and a right. There is no police officer who will be treated with kid gloves if he/she decides to quit without following the laid down procedures,” said Kampyongo.
“I also wish to bring this to the attention of the general public that government is fully aware of a scheme of a known opposition political party under the sponsorship of some foreign agents who are targeting our police officers to resign and then drill them to act in a manner that would discredit the service and the government. The hatched plan is anticipated to include also officers from the defence and other security wings. Furthermore, allow me to commend some police officers who have been professional and have since turned down the offers from these unscrupulous individuals, and decide to continue serving mother Zambia.”
But speaking at the UPND secretariat when he received two PF councillors who defected, Friday, at the same event, Nkombo wondered why a minister in charge of internal security could be so careless with his utterances.
“We think that as a political party which is biggest in the country, we find it very irresponsible for a stature of a Minister of Home Affairs. This is an irresponsible statement from an irresponsible minister because it is not the first time where PF has made wild allegations and the allegations that simply sit to accuse other people. We challenge him to name those people, this is a treasonable offense, if anyone decides to destabilise the country by tempering and tinkering with the defense forces, with the internal security, it is an amount that goes for treason. It is irresponsible for the minister to say this, what they needed to do as Dr Kenneth Kaunda did during the Shamwana and the others coup to just Dr Kaunda, they went and arrested them and took them through the due course of the legal trial. Mr Kampyongo must learn that this is what they call alarming the nation, it’s inciting the nation against political parties. It is an act of incitement and he will pay the price one day because the only thing that is permanent is change,” Nkombo said.
“This is cast in paper, it is his statement. He is keeping the names of these people to himself, we can only say it is another lie from PF and when a minister resolves to lying, Zambians must wake and say look, you cannot continue to put a country in harm’s way by giving unsubstantiated statements such as this one, irresponsible. I think the country should be alive to the fact that we have jokers running the affairs of the country but you can take jokes up to a certain point. You cannot have people who just imagine things around them that are not there, that is called schizophrenia so we challenge [him] to withdraw that statement, and we give him 24 hours to give an exact story of who these people are so that we can all as a country march against these people.”
Nkombo asked Kampyongo to resign if he felt the job had become too heavy him as opposed to making irresponsible statements.
He, however, commended Chipepo for listening to his conscience.
Meanwhile, Nkombo said allegations that UPND was going to degazzete the chieftaincy of the Chitimukulu were unfounded as he would be the first to be invited for the inauguration ceremony next year when UPND is elected.
“I want to inform you that where we come from, we don’t engage in feuds with chiefs because we are their children. So the allegations that are reaching our table and the statements that are coming and attributed to my father, Chief Chitimukulu, we would like to settle this with him. We respect you as our father, we are the government in waiting. We love you, we cherish you and once the Zambian people decide that it is us with Mr Hichilema, you will be the first one to be invited to the inauguration. This is to settle fears that are coming for our father, that we want him out of the throne. We haven’t got what it takes, we don’t have what it takes, we have no instrument whatsoever just like the sitting government has no instrument to interfere with traditional leadership,” said Nkombo.