NEWLY-Appointed Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations Charity Katanga says she will use non-lethal methods to maintain law and order.
And President Edgar Lungu has urged Katanga to prove “doubting Thomases” wrong.
In an interview, Katanga said police brutality had no space in her work culture and that records were there for all to see.
“I will come with professionalism, I will ensure that law and order is observed. Operations means operations, it is the cornerstone of law and order. I will put it my level best to ensure that law and order is observed. Police is about team work, we will work out as a team to iron out the grey areas. I will make a difference but probably it will be too early for me to say this unless I get to the other side. But I have a track record, I have made a difference, I have dealt with violent crowds, the records are there to see how I have carried out duties to disperse crowds, lawlessness, I don’t want to praise myself but records are there,” Katanga said.
“I have dealt under my charge with the opposition in various provinces. I will use the same professionalism. Police brutality has no space in my work culture. Members of the public must know that it is not necessary for the police to use firearms. We have batons, each and every officer has a baton which is also very effective in curbing unlawful assembly so we will make use of that tool.”
Katanga said the service, under her charge, would engage in dialogue rather than using force.
“The expertise in controlling crowds to ensure that police brutality is minimized. The force used should be proportional to what the people in unlawful assembly are using. If they are not armed, definitely the police cannot be armed. We will use a non-lethal method of maintaining law and order. The other tool we will use is to talk to the organizers, calling for large crowds to ensure that they curb their cadres. So our role is that it is not always necessary that we can use force, sometimes dialogue, interactions suffice. I have used nonviolence methods before, I think there was one time we also called the UPND leader (Hakainde Hichilema) on the Copperbelt not long ago, you remember the ZAFFICO issues so we kept them at bay and we advised what is expected of them without causing lawlessness. So that is what we are going to use,” said Katanga.
And Speaking during the swearing in ceremony at State House, Thursday, President Lungu urged Katanga to prove her critics wrong.
“You joined the Zambia Police Service as a constable in 1996. Your record of achievement during the 24 years that you have worked as an officer of the law has been remarkable. Your hard work and commitment to duty has seen you rise through the ranks from a constable to, among other notable ranks, senior legal officer, assistant director, as well as director for legal and professional standards. Additionally, you have twice served as commissioner of police in Lusaka and in the same position in Southern Province, Northern Province and until now, Copperbelt Province. The combination of your skills as a police officer and a lawyer will be very important in the execution of duties of deputy inspector general of police in-charge of operations,” President Lungu said.
“I am confident that you will execute your duties in accordance with the provisions of the law. Some people have already doubted your ability to run your new office. Just remember that we are living in a society where, to some extent, women are still doubted to run senior offices. I am sure you will prove them wrong as you have done in the past. I have every confidence that you will excel in your position, with the support of other officers around you. Copperbelt Province, where you excelled, is a good training ground for your new position. I have no doubt you will make it. Show the doubting Thomases that you can do it.”
And President Lungu urged newly appointed Director Inspector General of Police in charge of Administration Richard Mweene to work closely with the permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Home Affairs to develop a system that would ensure a motivated workforce.
“You are equally a seasoned senior police officer having worked in the government for 27 years now, with your first appointment being that of a teacher, in 1993. You joined the Zambia police service in 1996 as assistant superintendent in Livingstone where you were officer -in charge – frauds. In the 24 years that you have diligently served the Zambia police service, you have remained loyal to the command and risen through the ranks to hold various positions, including, superintendent (forensics) at force headquarters from 1999 to 2005,” he said.
“Between 2005 to date, you have held the ranks of senior superintendent, assistant commissioner and special advisor to the inspector general of police, deputy commanding officer and, subsequently, commanding officer at Lilayi training college, director of training at force headquarters, deputy commissioner of police, Copperbelt province, and commissioner of police, northern province, a position you held until now. I have no doubt that with such a career background, you will help address the administrative lapses in the Zambia police service by recommending issues pertaining to staff promotions, welfare motivation, and morale, among others. This is cardinal if the officers in the lower ranks are to perform to the required expectations of the general public. I urge you to work closely with the permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Home Affairs to develop a system that will ensure a motivated workforce. As you are aware, the ministry provides the policy direction to the Zambia Police Service.”
Meanwhile, President Lungu directed Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to weed out all the criminal elements from the Service.
“I, therefore, expect full discipline from your officers. Weed out all the criminal elements from the service. Spruce up the police command and regain the confidence of the people. I have been Home Affairs Minister before and I know that your job is not easy. Much as many people have openly shown disdain against you, they still need you. We have seen citizens, out of rage, totally destroy a police post, only to wake up the very next day and cry for a police post in the same place! As your commander-in-chief, I understand the challenges you go through, I understand the dangers you come across, and I know when people are genuinely complaining against you and when they are being unfair to you,” directed President Lungu.
“Some people will say they have every right to demonstrate or protest and yet some of those actions could lead to a stampede or violence and they will cry out for your help. The same people will ask for your rescue. Sometimes, it is innocent people, not part of protests that come in harm’s way. That is where your duties become difficult. But you have to ensure that you make the right call all the time so that we do not end up with disastrous outcomes.”