UPND national youth chairman Likando Mufalali says police have undoubtedly and notoriously become supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front as evidenced their harassment and torture of opposition leaders.
In a statement, Sunday, Mufalali charged that police were persecuting PF opponents.
“As United Party for National Development, we have extensive accounts of police arbitrarily arresting and detaining our members. The systematic nature of these arrests and detentions indicates intent by the police force to persecute perceived PF opponents. It is appalling that police officers, under Kakoma Kanganja as Inspector General, are increasingly becoming partisan on matters of a political nature. In June this year, Kanganja himself made a political statement supporting the ruling Patriotic Front saying they have made the work of the police very easy,” Mufalali said.
“Beyond statements, however, this partisanship manifests itself in repressive, politicised policing. The police cannot allow our party to hold intra party elections even when the Republican Constitution demands that we hold elections. Sesheke Member of Parliament Romeo Kang’ombe is in police custody today even when video footage of hired Patriotic Front officials and members are out in the public for all to see how they attacked the UPND convoy to and from Kasama. None of the known PF members that attacked the UPND convoy has been summoned or arrested.”
Mufalali said it was disappointing that the police had continued to defend PF members whenever they committed a crime.
“It has now become a norm in our country that PF officials, their members and their allies who commit crimes in the context of political matters go Scott-free.”As a party, we condemn the Zambia Police’s partisan stance and its routine abuse of human rights. Never in the history of the Zambia police service have our men in uniform become notorious for supporting the ruling party, harassing and torturing opposition and civil society leaders like they are behaving under Kanganja. We are also disappointed that even the police spokesperson Esther Katongo, is pursuing the PF agenda using her position. A few weeks ago, Mrs Katongo spewed untruths by giving out an appalling piece of fiction saying Chelstone police had arrested UPND members after they damaged property belonging to PF members.This was a blatant lie intended to put the name of the party and its members into disrepute,” stated Mufalali.
“The truth of the matter was that PF thugs, in full view of the police, went and damaged the UPND offices, cars that were parked at a nearby garage and a public borehole that was sunk by our president Hakainde Hichilema for the communities around Kamanga and Chelstone. Esther Mwaata has shamefully continued feeding false statements to the general public in her quest to campaign for the PF. She must watch her yapping against our president Hakainde Hichilema when she says police can pick him whenever they want to. In a few months’ time, Esther will regret her utterances and cry that she was being forced to make negative statement she is making against the UPND.We challenge her to stop hiding in her uniform. Esther Mwaata must resign from the police service so that she can freely join politics and challenge us on a political platform. We want to remind Mrs Katongo that she is not the first police officer to hold that position but many others have risen to serve the country in different capacities.”