ACTING Minister of Home Affairs Davies Chama has dispelled assertions that the Zambia Police are unprofessional and impotent and has urged the opposition to always follow instructions given to them by police.
During his debate on the Zambia Police budget in Parliament, Friday, Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu charged that the Zambia Police was impotent and that they were operating under fear of political cadres.
“Zambia Police Service is supposed to provide security for every citizen in this country as provided for under Article 193 of the current Constitution. But alas, Madam Chairperson, the Zambia Police have been rendered impotent by the ruling political party and I will be able to justify why I am saying so. Officers, Madam Chairperson, who are supposed to be professional and serving this country diligently, are operating under fear. The political cadres, in particular those of the ruling party, are perceived to be superior to police officers. Whenever an issue, madam chairperson, is raised against political cadres of the ruling party, police officers are afraid to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of any act, they have been afraid because of what has been transpiring when there are officers who have taken action against party cadres have been victimised, they have been transferred to places that are not suitable in their own view and these issues have been brought to the attention of the Minister of Home Affairs, as a result, lawlessness, madam chairperson, has transcended to a level which is unacceptable,” Mwiimbu said.
“We have witnessed of late, unfortunately, where party cadres are given a forum through ZNBC to issue threats against ministers, against senior members of the party, threatening violence and nothing happens because the party cadres have become superior, they have become untouchable. We have witnessed a video which has gone viral where certain party cadres were being loaded in a police van, they were issuing threats against the Minister of Home Affairs and nothing has happened. And we used to advise our colleagues on your right that this propensity of condoning indiscipline among your cadres will eat you one day, it has come to them, they have been haunted. The Minister of Home Affairs himself is no longer safe, he has been threatened by party cadres, openly even on ZNBC.”
He argued that the continued reign of cadres was a danger to the country’s security and could cause mayhem if allowed to go into 2021.
“Madam Chairperson, the issues I am raising are so serious, we are heading towards elections and if we allow this impunity to reign, to continue reigning in this country we will have mayhem in 2021. Madam Chairperson, we have been talking about the freedom of Zambians, vis a vis those of party cadres, whenever the President is traveling and the party cadres are going to the airport, members of the public are being told, “move out if the road”, if they don’t move out of the road, they are harassed. Is that the Zambia we need in this country Madam Chairperson? The answer is no. We have witnessed situations where party cadres are beating mourners at cemeteries and nothing is being done. Members of the public cannot trade peacefully in markets because of the indiscipline of party cadres Madam Chairperson. I would like to call upon the Zambia police service to ensure that the professionalism is maintained. There are good professional policemen, there are also bad eggs in the Zambia police service and I would like to call upon the Minister of Home Affairs to reign on the police command to ensure that there is professionalism in the Zambia police Service,” said Mwiimbu.
“Madam Chairperson, we are endangering the security of the country by allowing impunity to reign in the part of cadres. We are aware that the Minister of Home Affairs issued a statement that we must arrest cadres who are wearing military uniforms, the party cadres responded and issued threats they will deal with that ka minister, I am not going to mention the name of that ka minister, but that’s what they said. What impunity!”
But in winding down debate on the matter, Chama said the police service was very professional.
Chama argued that politicians were the ones who are making them operate under difficult circumstances.
“The police service is very professional and can never be rendered impotent. If PF cadres have committed atrocities, they have been arrested and have been prosecuted and they have appeared before the courts if law. It is only recently when it was rumoured that the President was going to Monze, and in actual fact, the President was in Monze, we saw what happened, our colleagues did not even condemn what their cadres did in Monze. Madam Chairperson, as much as we want to accuse the PF that the cadres have rendered the police impotent, the police service are operating under very difficult circumstances and the people who are making the service to operate under difficult circumstances, it is us politicians and we want to appeal to the opposition please to obey the instruction if they are given the instruction by the police service. So don’t just accuse the PF cadres, but yourselves are also guilty of some of these transgressions,” said Chama.