NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) national youth chairperson Charles Kabwita has questioned the state’s decision to reduce suspended PF Eastern Province youth chairperson Emmanuel ‘Jay Jay’ Banda’s charge and wondered whether the same would have been done if it was an opposition member involved.

Jay Jay, and three others were last week fined K150 each for disorderly conduct in a police station after the state reduced the charge from aggravated assault to disorderly conduct at a police station.

But, in an interview, Kabwita said the move by the police to reduce Jay Jay’s charge from aggravated assault to a lesser offence of disorderly conduct was an act of abuse of authority by those in power and a way of laundering him.

“From my own opinion, what had been transpiring regarding Jay Jay is an act of abuse of authority by the powers that be. Jay Jay is a well-known criminal who should have been punished by the courts but unfortunately, the Patriotic Front have interfered in the operations of the Judiciary, police and other wings which is very unfortunate. The police today in Zambia cannot operate freely under the PF government because of undue influence that they put on these institutions,” Kabwita said. “Today, we are told that Jay Jay was fined by the Court of Zambia out of the act that he committed himself to and the matter I am discussing was reduced to disorderly conduct which is very unfortunate. If for instance it was me, Charles Kabwita, who conducted myself in the manner Jay Jay conducted himself, today, Charles Kabwita, by virtue of being in opposition, would have been punished and sent to jail but because its Jay Jay who is coming from the PF, who is a suspended provincial youth chairman for Eastern Province, the matter categorically has been reduced to disorderly conduct.”

He said the move to reduce Jay Jay’s charge was an act by the PF to wash him clean.

“I am extremely shocked to learn that Jay Jay’s conduct or criminality was reduced to disorderly conduct at a police station. I wish to however display my disappointment in the PF government. First and foremost, Jay Jay went to police, beat the police and got away with property belonging to the police officer on that unfortunate day. We all know that Jay Jay ran away when the police started conducting investigations. When he availed himself to the police, he was charged with aggravated robbery and we thought that the judiciary and the police would be left to operate independently, but what did we see? Jay Jay was taken to court and a nolle was given to him; immediately after, he was arrested again and charged with a reduced case of aggravated assault,” Kabwita said.

“The selective application of law or justice by this government is very unfortunate, derailing the growth of our democracy in this country. This is also derailing the justice that is supposed to be experienced by all Zambians… So all these occurrences were meant to launder one Jay Jay. All the PF wanted was to wash Jay Jay and he has been washed.”

He further appealed to the international community to take interest in the happenings in the country.

“My appeal, therefore, to the international community who sponsor our elections, who sponsor the growth of democracy, who sponsor all sectors of our economy and development in all sectors is that they should take keen interest as they are spending their taxpayers money on our country Zambia. What we need is to have a system of governance where the party in government must never attach itself to the operations of the Judiciary, the police, Anti-Corruption Commission, the DEC and others. This is when we are going to see democracy flourishing and we are going to excel in terms of development. Zambia today cannot develop in all sectors of its economy because of the corrupt leaders that we have,” said Kabwita.