INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja claims two police officers from Mpika Police Station by abducted by UPND cadres who were in the company of their party leader Hakainde Hichilema.
But UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka says Kanganja should be the last person to make such an allegation against the victimised UPND supporters because he has failed to lead the police service.
In a statement, Kanganja claimed that UPND cadres who were in Hichilema’s entourage abducted and attacked two police officers and assaulted other members of the public in Lavushimanda Township in Muchinga on Wednesday.
“I am greatly appalled by the conduct of thugs believed to be UPND cadres who are reported to have abducted two of our police officers of Mpika Police Station whom they assaulted together with other members of the public. The attack happened at Lavushimanda town Center in Muchinga Province today, 14th October, 2020 around 15:00 hours. The thugs are reported to have been in the entourage of the opposition UPND leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema. I am reminding politicians once again that anyone who would want to commit crimes under the veil of politics shall have themselves to blame as police shall not tolerate such kind of unreasonable behaviour. I am warning all those that took part in the commission of this crime that we shall not relent in our investigations, hence they should consider their days numbered.
He stated that police would ensure that the suspects are brought to book, further urging those who are aggrieved with some police officers to always engage his office.
“We shall ensure that all those that will be found wanting are dealt with in accordance with the law. I have since directed the Provincial Police Commissioner for Muchinga to ensure that all those that have been spotted to be behind this heinous crime are apprehended and brought to book without any undue delay. Our role as the Zambia Police Service is to ensure that law and order prevails hence any individual irrespective of the political party they belong to, who would want to harm Police Officers as they conduct their duties, shall not be spared. Further, I wish to invite all groupings that have issues with the police to engage us so that they can be heard as opposed to issuing inciting statements. We shall not entertain any statement from any grouping that has potential to bring disorder in the Country. Sustenance of peace of this country largely lies in our hands as Zambia Police and we shall do our job to preserve the peace,” he stated.
But Katuka in an interview said Kanganja should be the last person to condemn the UPND because he never does when PF cadres are breaking the law.
“Kanganja should be the last one to say that. He has brought indiscipline in this country. Kanganja is to blame for the indiscipline. He has failed to provide leadership in the police. You see, Kanganja should know that he is a policeman who is not a cadre of the PF. So, he is always the first one to condemn when they attack, let’s say it’s the other camp which has been attacked, when he knows very well who is violent in these parties. Why shouldn’t we drive on these Zambian roads? Are we not Zambian? I should be afraid to drive on a road because there is PF. Does that make sense? We are all free to do our business in this country. We are all supposed to be free to move around freely, and protected by Kanganja and his boys. But Kanganja is the first one,” Katuka said.
“Recently there was an attack on a water pump in Kamanga [compound of Lusaka]. When they attacked, Esther Katongo said they arrested UPND cadres when it was our infrastructure that was attacked. Similarly, we had been driving into Kasama for a court case. Going into Kasama, we can’t drive on a road. If they mount road blocks everywhere to try and attack our entourage, for what? So, I believe he is the one who has failed us as a people. If I were him I would have resigned because he is more of a cadre than a professional policeman. This Kanganja who is talking, when Jay Jay went to beat the officers at the Central Police, he was quiet. And for them, if it’s the PF, they are scared but if it’s the other camp, they are very clever and they come out in full force to condemn and talk,” he said.
Katuka denied having attacked the police and urged Kanganja to be fair when handling cases involving different political parties.
“We did not attack and we have never attacked police. I challenge anyone to show me where we attacked anybody. So, let him be professional. Let him serve the Zambian people. He is not there to serve Edgar Lungu. My appeal to the Zambians is to stand up. This is our country. We must defend what is ours. Zambians must wake up and stand up and defend what is theirs. We cannot be treated like second class human beings in our own land,” Katuka added.
And in a statement issued earlier, Katuka distanced his party from the alleged police abduction which took place in Muchinga.
“We wish to distance ourselves from the purported attacks being advanced by Police Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja that the United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres attacked people in Muchinga. I.G Kanganja is contradicting himself. On one hand , he is directing the police to arrest UPND cadres whom he accuses of attacking people in Lavushimanda District in Muchinga Province. On the other hand, I.G Kanganja is directing his officers to investigate the attack. How do police arrest people before carrying out investigations? Kakoma Kanganja should have directed his mind to the law by reminding himself that directing his officers to pounce on UPND cadres before investigations is contradictory and a deliberate administrative blunder . We urge IG Kanganja to take responsibility for the violence taking place in the country and protect all citizens regardless of their political affiliation,” stated Katuka.