THE news that a PF official mobilised cadres, armed with guns and went to attack Lusaka Central Police where they beat up officers and got away with money makes very sad reading. We have never seen this level of lawlessness. This is a story we wish could have been fake news. What is even more heartbreaking is that the party in power has remained unmoved over the development, and sees no need to condemn or announce measures that will be taken to deal with the culprit. This attack happened last Saturday, but to this day, the PF has said nothing about the police raid which was orchestrated by the party’s Provincial Youth Chairman.
We will talk about President Lungu a little later, but why is the PF silent? Is it because they find nothing wrong with this behaviour? In previous governments, cadres used to have fear. Even under Michael Sata’s PF, there was an extent to which cadres and party officials could go with their mischief. It would never get as far as raiding a police station to beat up officers. This is anarchy of the highest order. Surely, Zambia is in a state of unimaginable lawlessness.
Who would dare attack the police at their station, in their offices? How can a civilian gather the courage to stage an armed ambush on the provincial headquarters of the police force? The biggest police station in the country. In a normal country, only a person who is tired of life and is exploring adventurous ways of dying would dare the police in that manner. In fact, in other jurisdictions, if you assault a police officer, the entire police force will be after you until you are severely dealt with. Even hard core criminals, murderers, know never to touch a police officer. They don’t kill cops because they know the consequences are unbearable. Now here in Zambia, if cadres and ruling party officials don’t fear the police who are they going to fear? If they don’t respect the law enforcement officer, how will they respect the law?
Even assuming that this PF official had a legitimate complaint against the police, he has no right to ambush their station with guns and beat up officers. We have laws in the country. Police officers who do something wrong are not available for physical discipline from members of the public, they have their own internal disciplinary procedures. They can be suspended, indicted and prosecuted where need be, before they are discharged from the service. If that procedure does not mete out justice to the satisfaction of the public, there is a Police Public Complaints Commission. No citizen has the right to attack the police.
What we are seeing under this government is very scary. The level to which the police have been reduced is dangerous for the country. Police scampering to safety upon seeing an armed PF official with cadres storm their station is something that is incomprehensible? How can a government allow its law enforcers to be subjected to such impotency? If the police cannot protect themselves, who can they protect?
Now, we must say that this ordeal reflects very badly on the Republican President who is running this country. If ruling party officials can have the courage to raid the provincial police headquarters with guns and beat up officers, what stops them from coming to beat you up in State House when you do something they don’t like? We ask because State House is manned by police, and if cadres have such superior power over police officers, how safe are you?
When this attack was happening at Lusaka Central Police, President Lungu was out there condemning violence from the opposition. His own party official was staging what we would call a terrorist attack in Lusaka, and to this day, he has not said anything about it. Why? Our readers may be interested to know that this fugitive called Emmanuel Jay Banda is not a first time offender. Banda is the same PF official who urinated in the mouth of then Post Newspaper reporter Peter Sukwa in December 2015 during the presidential by-election campaigns in Vubwi. He was fined K14, 000 for assault after being found guilty by the Vubwi Magistrates’ Court, and he has not reformed.
In February last year, Banda was expelled from the party by Provincial Chairman Andrew Lubusha, on grounds that he had breached the PF constitution, but President Edgar Lungu expressly nullified the expulsion, saying Banda, who was a Petauke District official then, had not been granted an opportunity to be heard. A few months later, Banda was elevated to the rank of Provincial Youth Chairman, a post he currently occupies. And he has continued to cause havoc in the country.
Banda is the PF official who, in February this year, led a group of cadres to go and disrupt a Law Association of Zambia-organised public discussion on Bill 10 held at Intercontinental Hotel. Nobody condemned him from the party, and he has since continued to cause havoc. Why is President Lungu doing this to a country which he claims to love?
Emmanuel Jay Banda is not a person who is not known to the Head of State. This is a personal friend of President Lungu, and we know this for a fact. Banda, who is famously known as Jay Jay is the gentlemen President Lungu used when he was trying to re-establish his links with his relatives in Mkwama Village of Petauke District in 2015. The President assigned this gentleman to deliver material support to his Petauke relatives, and the two are very close. If this information is inaccurate, we challenge State House to refute it so that we show proof.
Our point is that this fugitive called Jay Jay is more than just a PF official, he is a personal friend of the President who should lead in the observance of rule of law. If the President’s family and friends are permitted to do this without any consequences, this country will become ungovernable because no one will have respect for the law or the law enforcement wings. It is a shame that State House is silent on such a terrorist conduct from a person who walks the corridors of power. How can the President claim that he detests violence when his own people, his own family is involved in such acts of anarchy? Zambia is on its way to becoming a failed state.
Mr President Sir, you should be ashamed that you have undressed the Police. You have reduced our men and women in uniform to powerless victims of your violent clique in the ruling party. Even security guards can claim to be feared and dignified than our police. Look at the fear you have bestowed on police officers. Does this make you proud as a Head of State? The police have no union that speaks for them, it is your duty to protect their rights and dignity. How can a cadre have power to walk into a police station and beat up a police officer? Bwana Lungu! And you still want to continue ruling this country? Kwena, even the police must be looking forward to 2021 so that they can reclaim their authority.