HOME Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says Sesheke UPND member of parliament Romeo Kang’ombe was in the vehicle where two police officers and five civil servants were bundled after being abducted.

And Kampyongo says government is aware that some opposition leaders are soliciting funds from their collaborators who are asking them to cause lawlessness in the country.

Meanwhile, Kampyongo says government had nothing to do with NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili’s arrest.

At a press briefing, Saturday, Kampyongo said a UPND militia group abducted two police officers and five civil servants and stole several properties.

“The occupants of the vehicle on which the two officers were bundled included the member of parliament for Sesheke constituency, honourable Romeo Kangombe. So dear colleagues, besides the two officers, five other people including two civil servants, an agricultural extension officer, a veterinary officer and three community members who stood by the road side were also attacked by this militia group and they sustained serious injuries and multiple deep cuts. In addition, the seven casualties recorded, the UPND militia group also stole properties which included a Lenovo laptop, a wallet, a shaving machine, cell phones and cash money amounting to K2,400. All the stolen items were valued at approximately K10,000. Furthermore, one residential house had the spare bedroom and kitchen window glass panes deliberately damaged. This damage of the residential house is yet to be ascertained,” Kampyongo said.

“Government shall not entertain any form of violence any longer and whoever shall be found perpetrating political violence shall be dealt with in accordance with the law and regardless of political affiliation. Any form of violence is a criminal act that all political should condemn at all costs. Let me also take this opportunity to also warn political party leaders who are professing bloodshed during the 2021 general elections, government shall not take kindly such leaders who are bent on inculcating fear and alarm in the general citizenry. General elections are not a new phenomenon to Zambians who have always endeavored to remain peaceful after every election.”

And Kampyongo said some opposition leaders were fond of daring government and then playing victim when the state acted.

“I also want to say that government is aware of some schemes of political parties wanting to dare government and when government acts, they want to cry victims and claim that the democratic space is shrinking. We are equally aware that one political leader was recently in East Africa where he went to solicit for funds from their collaborators who have also encouraged them to engage in lawlessness activities. We are not going to allow people trade off the sovereignty of this country or a piece of silver. We shall not sit and watch as foreign interests to come and disturb the peace that this country has enjoyed,” he warned.

“Government is equally aware of the schemes by a known political grouping to begin attacking the government procured equipment which includes motor vehicles for police service using all sorts of weaponry, gadgets, including explosives. The source of the explosives is already established and the culprits are also being monitored and very soon we expect the police to do the needful. But I want to say that the antiriot equipment and other modern equipment has been procured at a high cost and it is irresponsible and criminal for any individual or organisation to begin scheming to destroy the equipment.”

He said President Edgar Lungu was determined to create a conducive environment where all citizens, regardless of their political affiliation, could exercise their human rights and freedoms without any interference.

Kampyongo said he would not allow any 1,000-vehicle convoys for opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and urged those summoned by the police to appear in a befitting manner.

“They should mark my words, I am not here to joke, I am here to perform my duties on behalf of the people of Zambia. A thousand, hmmmmm, not under my watch, that won’t happen. Those that have been called will have to go in a manner that befits someone being summoned by police, anything other than that will be dealt with under the confines of the law,” he warned

“I want to also warn our ex-service men, ex-police officers who have opted to become security guards for some of these political parties and who are also now part of these schemes of bringing chaos and anarchy in this country, my simple warning to them is that they should remember their training which was given to them by the government of the Republic of Zambia was not to harm citizens. The trainings they attend was to protect citizens and so the consequences on them when they are found wanting will be heavier than those of the ordinary criminals. And so I am requesting the Zambia police and other security institutions to closely monitor the activities of some of these officers who have opted to turn themselves into criminal elements. And those of our serving officers who are collaborating with them equally won’t be spared,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kampyongo said government had no role to play in Kambwili’s arrest.

“I don’t think the government had anything to do with that particular matter apart from maybe the prosecution aspect, there is no government at all. So it’s political to only the extent that another political leader of a political party…these political party leaders who want to, they can dare, they will break the law and hide behind political parties, and hide behind democracy, they will have themselves to blame because every democracy is anchored on the rule of law. So any responsible political leader must be a law abiding citizen, break the law, the law is blind to status,” he said.

And Kampyongo wondered why some political parties hid behind other individuals when registering their formations, saying the secretary general who was vetted from Movement for Democratic Change was different from the one who was announced at the launch.

“If we were restricting registration of political parties, today we wouldn’t have on record more than 50 political parties. 50 registered political parties with the registrar of societies but the processes are such that when you apply to registered as a political party, there are procedures, the individuals that are flaunted to be office bearers must be screened to check their credibility. What is shocking this time is that people want to hide behind certain individuals instead of coming out in the open, we have registered political parties of even former founding members of the PF since the time I came to this Ministry as minister,” said Kampyongo.

“We are urging political players to be sincere and honest, there is no one we can stop from forming a party, we just want people to be sincere, that’s the challenge we seem to have.”