UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka says it is foolish for the police to deny that they summoned party leader Hakainde Hichilema when a call-out was delivered at the secretariat, Friday.
And Katuka says it does not make sense that trained police officers can be abducted by common citizens.
In an interview, Katuka rebuked the Police Command in Lusaka for contradicting a statement that came from Muchinga Province Police Commissioner Joel Njase who confirmed that Hichilema was among the UPND officials summoned for questioning in a case of abduction.
Commenting on the development, Katuka said police delivered a call out to the UPND secretariat last Friday but the people who were present refused to received it on behalf of the party leader.
He said the confusion and inconsistencies was an indication that the Zambia Police Service was compromised.
“On Friday, the police from headquarters came to the secretariat to serve that call-out. Unfortunately, I was not in town myself and the boys they found at the secretariat refused to receive the call-out. And then they went away. But now, we hear they have changed their mind by saying that, ‘they did not…[summon Hichilema].’ That’s foolish! How can you say, ‘we did not’ when that document was delivered and it’s just that we were not ready to receive it? That’s the inconsistency we find in the police, having no direction. Kanganja’s police is not the police worth talking about. And Kanganja has failed the Zambian people as IG, [he is] the worst in the history of this country! I even feel ashamed because the young man is from my village. I feel really ashamed by the conduct of IG Kanganja. So, the call-out was there, but now they are denying,” wondered Katuka.
“The inconsistency of the police is a well-known thing. The police are not independent. They don’t make their own decisions. They are guided. You know, all the time we are told that, ‘we have been instructed’, meaning they are not independent. And that’s what normally happens in a dictatorship. When a dictator takes over government, the first thing they do is to kill institutions of governance so that they don’t make independent decisions [and make them only] answerable to this one individual, who is a dictator, who, in our case is Edgar Chagwa Lungu. So, the police are not independent. They want to depend on instructions.”
He added that even if Hichilema was in the motorcade, which allegedly abducted the two police officers last week, he would not have known what was happening as his vehicle was in front.
“It is not possible for Hakainde to beat anybody. If Hakainde was in a motorcade, he can’t control everyone in those vehicles. There are more than 20 vehicles! He wouldn’t know what is happening. And in every motorcade, the president’s vehicle is always in front and there are so many behind. So, he can’t also know what is happening behind. But they (police) wanted to behave in the same unprofessional manner they behaved in Mongu where this motorcade has so many people, but they only went for an individual. Meaning that they were not looking at what happened on that day, but they were witch-hunting and looking for a person. GBM was in that motorcade in Mongu, but did they pick him or did they even question him? No, they didn’t because he was not their target,” he recalled.
And Katuka said it was not possible that a trained police officer can be abducted by common citizens.
“Similarly, how do you expect a trained police officer to be abducted? Is that possible? This is why we are saying that we have so many cadres wearing police uniforms. There are so many. They are training in Sikanze [Police] Camp, they give them uniforms and ranks and guns. Nowonder there is so much misuse and abuse of guns by the police. You have heard of stories of how a policeman has shot another officer, how a stray bullet has hit a citizen, it is because of these untrained police officers. A police officer is trained to defend himself using either minimum or maximum force. If a situation is life-threatening, he is allowed to use maximum force, which is shooting,” said Katuka.