WHAT happened on Wednesday at the Zambia Police headquarters where two people were shot dead, as the opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was taken in for interrogation, is hard to comprehend. The scenes were shocking. It was as if there was war and the police were assigned to shoot and kill on sight.
Actually, that is what it was, apart from the purported enemies did not carry guns or any offensive weapons. What we don’t understand is why the police were given orders to kill unarmed innocent citizens. We say the police were ordered to kill people because it does not make sense that officers can use live ammunition without an intent to kill. Anyone who draws a gun, points it at someone and pulls the trigger has a clear intention to kill. That action becomes meditated murder.
Our police have killed so many innocent people under President Edgar Lungu, in their efforts to prevent one man from ascending to the presidency. Every time an opposition political party in Zambia mobilises its supporters for political activities, the police use excessive force to disperse them and in the process, they end up shooting and killing innocent people. Where does all this end? How many will you kill to prevent just one man from entering State House?
Wednesday’s incident raises a lot of questions. How does this make the President feel, how does he feel to see this bloodshed, police killing citizens in his name? Does he smile or he simply looks the other way?. What kind of a leader is Mr Edgar Lungu? We ask this because in our view, the quality and personality of a leader can be discerned from the excesses that he allows the people around him to carry out.
Why should a State Prosecutor die in the street at the hands of government agents! What is it that was happening that called for the discharge of live ammunition! This disregard for human life and elevation of sectional and narrow partisan interests by the police whose duty is to protect the public is deplorable and damnable!
What about the families of those people you are killing? Today a wife is without a husband, children without a father, why? Can the Inspector General of Police Mr Kanganja tell us why Mr Nsama Chipyoka, a prosecutor and former police officer had to die? What have they achieved from this heavy handedness? We demand answers!
And we find it insulting for the Inspector General to even claim that the police are not behind the killing, to claim that the circumstances that led to the killing of Kaunda a UPND supporter and Nsama the prosecutor, are unclear. It’s painful enough to see blood being spilt over a useless criminal investigation, but it is even more annoying when police refuse to take responsibility for their actions. What investigation do they want to do?
Everyone is heartbroken, except those in leadership. Instead of taking responsibility and sympathizing with the bereaved family, we are seeing sarcastic messages coming from Patriotic Front officials tormenting those who were grieving. It is wrong, it is evil to make fun around the death of a fellow human.
The right to life is fundamental; under no circumstances must it be violated. The reality of human rights protection is one that continues to elude the Patriotic Front under President Lungu and this is of great concern. The nation remains in shock at the death of a defenseless citizens at the hands of police brutality.
We are worried and concerned about the safety of the people in this country, especially as we go towards the 2021 elections. When we see these actions from the police, the question that starts to linger is, how will 2021 be? Is this what they have been gearing for? Is this the reason why they bought the much talked about police equipment so that they can start killing people?
And if we may ask, where are the rubber bullets that the police procured for crowd control? Why are they using live bullets now? What is the meaning of this action? How can the police command that has been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting lives be the ones to take it? This is very disheartening.
As Musa Mwenye put it in his reaction to this development, this is unZambain. We find it baffling that under this government, simple efforts to exercise basic democratic rights are often met with brutal resistance, but when consequences of their actions arise, they find someone else to blame. Why they continue to use draconian tactics to tackle simple acts such as peaceful protests or solidarity marches, can only be attributed to the system under which they operate. A system that is presided over by scared politicians, individuals who are intolerant of criticism and obsessed with power.