FORMER Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu says he will not be intimidated by Nkana PF member of parliament Alexander Chiteme’s manoeuvres to use the police in restricting his freedom of speech.
On Monday, Copperbelt police warned and cautioned Mpundu for allegedly holding an “illegal meeting.”
But in an interview, Mpundu accused Chiteme of instructing police officers to arrest him.
“You are aware that I had a press conference on Sunday with my colleagues, Mayor (Christopher) Kang’ombe and Mayor Rashida Mulenga from Kalulushi, which was called to distance allegations from our competitors that we have jumped camp from the PF, (that) we are working with the opposition. Now, we have exonerated ourselves from the powers that be several times. What we wanted to do on Sunday was basically to challenge them and state the facts. We shut them up, but we knew that we were going to jump to other tricks. So, yesterday’s (Monday) harassment and embarrassment on me was another attempt by my competitors. I was telling the police similar words that when I am invited to officiate at a wedding, the police do not ever come to ask me if I have a permit. The law places the responsibility of notifying the police on the conveners of the wedding, not me who has been invited,” Mpundu said.
“Like what happened on Monday, I had a group of women, who I used to deal with when I was DC, invite me because now there is a dysfunctional office where I used be. They invited me to address them on issues of empowerment, it is not my duty to go and get a permit. If you want to call it, ‘unlawful assembly’, the police found me with a number of people, but they opted to pick me. So, by just picking me and my driver indicates that they did not come for unlawful assembly, they basically came to intimidate me. But I can tell them they can try as much as they can with that foolishness, they will not intimidate me! My quest is to serve the people. Someone may have done his homework in trying to stop me from serving people by influencing my non-renewal of a contract, but they won’t stop me from going to serve the people. People must read between the lines that I am very determined when it comes to serving people. I am a bona fide member of the PF, those who are scheming around me just came yesterday in the party and these are the chaps that have brought confusion. But we will not bow down to these maneuvers.”
And when asked to name the competitors who were against him, Mpundu charged that it was Chiteme.
“I sympathise with the police who are working under extreme conditions. There are a lot of mobilisation activities on the Copperbelt, but only Binwell will not be allowed under the instructions of the serving MP. The MP for Nkana yesterday used the new DC to issue instructions to the police to have me arrested. You may wish to know they are making changes on the police command in Kitwe because they think that the police were very lenient on me,” replied Mpundu.
Efforts were made to reach Chiteme for comment but he did not reply by press time.