IKELENG’I UPND Member of Parliament Elijah Muchima says the Patriotic Front has captured the police service.

Last week, Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo said the service could not arrest Higher Education Minister Brian Mushimba and Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo for defying COVID-19 guidelines because there was no law which gave them that mandate.

But in an interview, Muchima said the service was segregative in their operations.

“At the moment, the police are captured by the PF, they are working like a PF wing. They are not being professional at all. They are being segregative in their operations. If anything is to do with the opposition, especially UPND, they are in a hurry to take action. Anything to do with PF, they are very relaxed because they are fearing that they will be fired just like they have been firing other policemen whenever they take correct actions. They are working under fear, and the whole police is under the arms of PF as their wing and yet this is government security which is supposed to provide law, order and services to the entire country. I think Zambia has become a laughing stalk to other countries the way we are operating,” Muchima said.

“These institutions are supposed to be independent, but that is not the case. I have not been allowed in my constituency to go round to commission a project under the guise of COVID, under the guise of the Public Order Act and yet I am an MP. But they allow a man called Martin Mbaya to organize meetings every time. They are being unprofessional, it is a police cadre, and it is not even a police service. That is not how we ran government when we were in MMD. This police is under police command, they are using orders to frustrate the opposition.”

And commenting on Katongo’s remarks that political party leaders should advise their cadres against threatening police officers with job losses because it disturbs them in carrying out their duties, Muchima said cadres were more powerful than police.

“The PF cadres have more powers than the policemen. These juniors just follow orders. These PF cadres may fear the President but the rest of the people, they don’t fear them. Violence comes from the PF. For example, when we conducted our convention, we never saw any policeman nearby throughout the country, did you hear any confusions? Any problems? But if the police were there, they would have been a source of confusion. Let them tame their cadres, they have exposed themselves. Most of the people in PF are these criminals from the streets in the name of cadres. We need decency in this country,” said Muchima.