HOME Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu says his government has no interest whatsoever in instructing police or other security agencies to target or take action against any member of the public.

And Mwiimbu says five people have been arrested and charged for being in possession of offensive weapons in relation to the violence that took place in Kaumbwe Constituency.

Mwiimbu was speaking in Parliament, Tuesday.

When asked by leader of the opposition Brian Mundubile on whether there was an invisible hand instructing the police to arrest PF members following the arrest of Mkushi MP Davies Chisopa, Chitambo MP Remember Mutale, Kabwe Mayor among others, Mwiimbu said the new dawn administration would not be involved in the administration of the criminal justice system.

“I want to state that as the new dawn administration, we have made an assurance to the nation and we are going to live by that assurance that we will not be involved whatsoever in the administration of the criminal justice system in the country. We have no interest whatsoever in instructing Zambia Police or any other security agencies to target or take action against any members of the public. Madam Speaker, we will not want to repeat what used to happen in the sad 10 years of the PF. We would want every Zambian, irrespective of political affiliations to enjoy their civil rights and liberties as enshrined in the constitution. I have heard my honourable colleague cite an example of honourable Chisopa, honourable Remember Mutale, that they were arrested while taking their stand in court,” he said.

“Madam Speaker, that is not the correct position. Honourable Mutale and Honourable Chisopa were arrested outside court and they were being arrested for heinous crimes allegedly having been committed during the period prior to the August 12th general elections. The police, when they realized that they are enjoying their rights and obligations under the New Dawn administration and there was no interference from my office, decided to enforce the rule of law by ensuring that those who had committed offences before the elections are brought to book. Madam Speaker, I have condemned the activities at court and I did specify that all of us must respect court grounds and that no violence should take place at those places.”

When asked by Bweenga UPND member of parliament Michelo Kasauta on what government was doing to ensure that guns in the hands of PF cadres were repossessed to avoid violence, Mwiimbu said he was discussing the issue with the police command.

“I want to conquer with my brother honourable Michelo Kasauta that in the last seven years, the country was on auto pilot. Fortunately, the people of Zambia realized that if you allow a plane to be on auto pilot for a long time, you will crash, so they had to look for a pilot and on the 12th of August 2021, a pilot was found and he is steering the plane to safety and that is what we are doing. Madam Speaker, we are aware of the issues of illegal guns in the hands of so many people in this country. Myself and the police command are discussing this issue so that we find ways and means of ensuring that illegal guns are not in the hands of those who may want to cause anarchy in the country. At an appropriate time, Madam Speaker, I will come to the House and inform the nation as to what we want to do,” Mwiimbu said.

And Mwiimbu said five people had been arrested and charged for being in possession of offensive weapons in relation to the violence which took place in Kaumbwe Constituency.

“Madam Speaker, with respect to the violence that occurred in Kaumbwe constituency in Petauke district where by-elections were taking place, I wish to inform this August House that the Zambia Police Service recorded a number of incidents. During the campaign period, on 18th October, 2021 two vehicles registration number BAD 2385 and BAD 8730 which were in the convoy of Patriotic Front vice president, Honorable Given Lubinda, were damaged by a mob suspected to be UPND cadres. Investigations on this matter are still ongoing. On election day, Thursday 21st October 2021, the Zambia Police Service impounded a motor vehicle registration number ACX 9847 found with offensive weapons and Chitenge material for the Patriotic Front party,” he said.

“Five People have been arrested and charged for being in possession of offensive weapons. They have since been released on police bond. Let me urge the Zambia Police Service to expeditiously bring all those involved to book regardless of political affiliation. Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, made it clear during the official opening of the first session of the thirteenth National Assembly that the new dawn government does not condone any form of violence. It is in this regard that His Excellency has directed all law enforcement agencies to be professional in the discharge of their duties.”

Kabushi PF member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo also asked how cadres found on the wrong side of the law would be dealt with and whether citizens would trust the UPND government after appointing people like Fanwell Siandenge as Deputy Inspector General of Police for Special Duties at State House, when he was a fugitive.

In response, Mwiimbu said some citizens were in hiding because the PF government was obnoxious.

“That is why I indicated that the government of PF was so obnoxious that other people, free citizens who were supposed to exercise their rights under the constitution ended up being fugitives. These freedom fighters have now come back, there is freedom in the country, they have the right to enjoy like any other citizen. And because of the rule of law, even those who were hiding are free in this country. And Madam Speaker, the person who he is alleging has never been convicted,” he said.

“But I am aware under PF, when some people were diehards, they were clobbering others in the streets of Lusaka and nothing happened to them and they are here and they are listening. Madam Speaker, I want to state without fear of any contradiction that the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Hakainde Hichilema is the most brutalized Zambian in this country under the PF dispensation. He was arrested more than 16 times under trivial charges but he has vowed never to avenge and revenge. He has instructed the members of the UPND that we should let sleeping dogs lie. But he has also said if you keep stepping on the tail of a dog, as it barks, it may bite you.”

Mwiimbu inaisted that violence would not be condoned under the UPND administration.

“As we speak now, there are a number of UPND cadres appearing in court, something that is unprecedented. When the PF was in power, there were no cadres that were being arrested for the heinous crimes they were committing. You are aware, Madam Speaker, we had two of our people in Mulobezi who were shot by very senior PF members, nothing has been done so far, our member in Kaoma was shot dead, to-date, we have not targeted anyone,” said Mwiimbu.

“You are aware in Mandevu, our chairman was killed and he was beheaded. And that is the reason, Madam Speaker, there was chaos at the High Court because members of the public when they identified that individual at the High Court, they resorted to take the law in their own hands. It is because of the history, the ugly history of the PF, the violence that is being attributed to the PF, that is why members of the public want to take the law in their own hands. But under the leadership of President Hakainde, he has instructed all of us that we should never take the law in our own hands. And he has guided that violence should not be condoned.”