PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has reiterated that no person should be arrested before being investigated, adding that days of apprehending people on innuendos and political instructions are over.
Meanwhile, the swearing-in process of the newly appointed Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba was cut short as he kept shivering while taking oath. Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo has explained, however, that the police chief was recovering from Malaria.
Speaking when he swore in service chiefs and Anthony Bwalya as Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations at State House, Monday, President Hichilema said arresting people without carrying out investigations would lead to congestion in police cells and correctional facilities.
“We should not arrest people when we have not investigated, otherwise there will be too many people in police cells, in correctional centers, we will be dealing with that when we deal with the correctional services who are not supposed to be there. Investigate within the confines of security, law and order. I did not say that do not arrest people. I said, do investigate to determine whether citizens have committed crimes or not otherwise you will be arresting people on innuendos or political instructions, those days are over,” he said.
President Hichilema said suspects should be taken to court within 48 hours.
“When you arrest, please if the matter, the crime is bondable, give bond to our people, your sisters, your cousins, your nephews within you mandate and within your professional understanding of the police services. And please do take suspects to court within 48 hours as the law dictates so that we don’t have prolonged detentions of your own citizens because you are still investigating. It brings hatred, it brings anguish in the community. I know what I am talking about, I know what the voters told me when we went round ‘HH please protect us, we want our freedoms’ but I also say to them, your freedom ends where someone else’s freedoms start,” he said.
President Hichilema said that bail conditions should not be restrictive.
“And when we take people to court, the court should hear citizen’s cases expeditiously to dispense justice. And bail must be granted to those whose cases are bailable and the bail conditions must not be restrictive. We will deal with that. We will maintain security, stability, peace in our country. We will restore the rule of law, yet we will respect citizen’s fundamental liberties. We can achieve both pretty easily if our intentions are clear. There should be no citizens allowed to attack our service colleagues or police in the line of duty. We want to normalize life in our country, it has been abnormal for too long,” he said.
“We expect a new way of working in the police. We expect that we will earn our respect from the public such that when the public are in trouble, the first group of people they will think about is us in the police to assist them because we are their friends. We are there to support them, we are not there to work against them. Citizens should run to the police, not to run from the police when there is a problem.”
Meanwhile, President Hichilema said civilians should not be allowed to wear military uniforms.
“Civilians wearing military uniforms, I think that should not be allowed. I am not the law, the law must have guidelines. If the law is weak, we shall button-up that quickly. Because sometimes the citizens mistake party thugs that beat people to be military people and make a bad name of the military,” he said.
President Hichilema further called for smooth transitions in the country.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank the existing commanders, leaders of our services for the job well done. And you who are coming in, accord that respect to your colleagues that are going out. Let us have a smooth handover and to the nation, we are doing this in an orchestrated and deliberate manner to make sure that there is smooth transition, handovers. There is no abruptness. The nation works in continuity, it doesn’t start and stop,” said President Hichilema.
Earlier, Kajoba started shivering when taking oath, forcing a State House protocol officer to come to his aid by helping him hold his papers. He was then taken away from the State House grounds where the ceremony was taking place. Later on, he was seen taking pictures with President Hichilema.
But in a statement, Monday, Katongo said Kajoba was unwell.
“The Inspector General of Police, Mr Remmy Kajoba is just recovering from Malaria, it therefore follows that at the time of his swearing in, he was unwell. This is the reason why authorities at State House allowed him to take a rest in the lounge after his swearing in and only joined in during the photo session,” stated Katongo.
Meanwhile speaking to journalists after being sworn-in, Zambia Air Force Commander Collin Barry said he had a lot to offer to the Airforce.