PATRIOTIC Front media director says Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba should have engaged police if he wanted to feature on a radio program on Mpika to avoid disruptions.

On Monday, Kalaba was stopped by police from having a program on Mpika Community Radio saying he did not get permission from the Mpika District Commissioner.

Commenting on this in an interview, Chanda advised politicians to engage police before appearing on any radio programmes because not everyone was tolerant to divergent views.

“I think what is very important to say is that the PF does not have a policy of stopping anyone from appearing on radio. Yesterday (Tuesday) I am aware that UPND members were on Radio Mano where they featured and still went ahead with their programming uninterrupted. If there is anything that we can ask for is that there is nothing wrong with the DP leader informing the police that he is going to carry out such political activities in the District for purposes of public order and his own security because we don’t know who would act inappropriately and end up destroying property or end up causing harm to other people,” Chanda said.

“As we begin to get closer to the general elections, people take politics differently and it is always important when there is such a program happening, politicians engage the police for their own safety and the safety of other people. Because not all of us will be tolerant to divergent views. This happens not just in PF strongholds. Not long ago, Fr Bwalya was beaten by UPND members in Mazabuka when he featured on Mazabuka Radio. So there is a likelihood of such events happening, not just restricted in PF strongholds. Even speaking for myself, if I want to feature on a radio station whether it is in Monze or in Mazabuka, I am not going to last three minutes on that radio station. So if I want to feature on any radio programme, the first thing I would do is to inform the police because it is not just because of my own safety but the safety of the people working in the radio station.”

He said Kalaba was not a threat to the ruling party.

“What did honorable Kalaba stand to lose had he gone to the police? He would have probably asked for coverage and for him to be escorted as he carried out his political programme. The PF did not send anyone to stop Mr Kalaba’s programme in Mpika. Mr Kalaba is not a threat, not even in Bahati where he was an area member of parliament. Unless he wants to be so naïve to think that he can go to any part of Zambia, sometimes people don’t take divergent views in a tolerant manner. Before you are a victim, wisdom demands you inform the security wings to ensure that you are protected,” he said.

Chanda said the opposition was making the work of the police very difficult.

“I think what the problem is, is the high levels of suspicion that the police are working to disadvantage the opposition. If you followed the altercation and outbursts by the DP leader targeted at this poor officer who is doing his job of maintaining law and order, you would understand that sometimes it is the politicians who make the job of the police very difficult. Clearly, what the officer was trying to do was to negotiate with Mr Kalaba and reason with him because those are officers on the ground in Mpika and they understand the security situation on the ground. It is this level of suspicion by the opposition targeted at the police which I think is not helping and it is going to make the job of the police very difficult,” said Chanda.