United Party for National Development (UPND) southern province information and publicity secretary Neto Halwabala has has said that the warning issued by Inspector General of police (IG) Kakoma Kanganja should have been directed at PF cadres, reports pan African Radio journalist Hermit Hachilonde.
In a statement made available to the media, Mr Halwabala said that UPND members do not move around with stones, hoes, pangas, Machetes, axes, crowbars, guns in public like what he termed PF thugs do and urged the Police to direct their effort at PF cadres.
Yesterday Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja disclosed that the police has noticed a proliferation of items that are dangerous which are being used to cause insecurity in Zambia.He said the items include air gun pistols which have become common,machetes (pangas),taser guns and catapults among others.
The police IG in his warning message to the general public said Section 84 of the Penal Code Act states clearly that any person who goes armed in public,without lawful occasion in such a manner as to cause terror to any person commits an offence and his arms may be forfeited.
He stated that the police will not hesitate to arrest anyone found armed in public in a manner that causes public terror even if such persons are licensed fire arm holders.
The police command therefore directed all police officers to ensure that all those who are found armed in public and causing terror regardless of their political affiliation are arrested and prosecuted without any due delay.
Mr. Kanganja dismissed claims that the police are tolerating supporters of the ruling party.
He said Zambia Police service has never taken any sides in any case, adding that they are always and will remain professional and fair in their dealings.
The IG also noted that people with such thoughts that police tolerate cadres from the party in Government must not be entertained at all.
“The police have been non violent in their execution of their duties. We shall therefore remain non partisan” he said
Below is the UPND’s response to Police Chief
OPEN LETTER TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE KAKOMA KANGANJA
Dear Mr Kanganja – IG Police
Yesterday you issued a public warning to political parties and members of the public that police will now arrest anyone moving with offensive weapons in public especially during this time of campaigns “regardless of political affiliation”.
As UPND, we welcome your statement with a pinch of salt. First and foremost, our members do not move around with stones, hoes, pangas, Machetes, axes, crowbars, guns in public like PF thugs your office seem to condone.
Our members do not even have unimpeded access to buying weapons like guns because of your thorough and stringent screening processes for one to buy a firearms. We doubt how possible that would be than how easier it is for PF thugs to acquire such fire arms.
Therefore, it is not only misdirecting yourself sir, but also misleading and meant to hoodwink the public by wholesomely warning all political party members against moving with offensive weapons in Public instead of directing that warning to PF.
This piece of law as UPND we have know it even before PF was born and we have not moved with Such weapons in our life time as the largest and oldest opposition party forming government in less than 46 days now. we are a peaceful party, we value peace, unity and oneness as a people of this great land of mother Zambia.
Secondly, your statement that “Police will arrest anyone regardless of their political affiliation” is weak and shooting in the air sir. Your statement should have been more directed and given force of power by saying, “police will arrest anyone whether PF, UPND, UPP, UNIP, or PAC” member found with weapons in public.
Better still, your statement should have been more succinctly directed at PF thugs by warning that “police will now arrest any PF member found with any offensive weapons” in public.
Why do we say so, Mr Kanganja sir you know very well that it is the PF thugs who move around in public with guns, pangas, axes, stones and all sorts of weapons and have you have seen and what havoc PF cadres have wrecked on the UPND and other defenseless members of the public.
And again we repeat and challenge you sir, if you want to prove for yourself who is causing all this violence, we give a simple research method. We will give your officers our UPND regalia to wear and go to Intercity, Northmead, or anywhere and see what happens. Next we will ask the PF leadership to give your officers the PF regalia and in a similar manner your officers should go to the same places and see if they will be attacked. We challenge you sir, provided no tricks will be entertained!
Our members have never attacked PF, they have been, beaten, assaulted, killed, undressed in public, shot by PF thugs like Max Chongo your policemen and women have failed to arrest to date, and you are now issuing an empty statement targeting the UPND while PF chief thug Max Chongo is still eating T-bone and chips at some Lodge of a PF senior officer, isn’t this double standards sir?
Mr Kanganja sir stop playing PR, before you issue that statement, We challenge you to go and arrest Max Chongo for shooting our member in Northmead on the last day of filing nominations by our party president, go and arrest PF thugs in Shiwang’andu and their chief thug Kampyongo who wanted to bring down the helicopter carrying our president Hakainde Hichilema and his Running Mate GBM, go and arrest those known PF cadres in Tendelele in Mafinga who were hurling all sorts of missiles against our leaders two weeks ago than playing hide and seek service to the public.
You even know that the Shiwang’andu incidence amounts to serious crimes like terrorists act which imposes huge criminal sanctions for anyone who attempts to bring down such a vessel carrying persons. We are still challenging your office to arrest chief thug and master minder of the Shiwang’andu showdown Kampyongo!
And while the UPND may somehow commend police in Shiwang’andu for trying their best under extreme circumstances to stop that violence, we cannot say the same of your Police officers in Tendelele who exhibited highest levels of lethargy when PF thugs were attacking our members.
You must lead by example, first arrest these thugs otherwise your statement amounts to nothing but playing to the gallery.
You must first of all withdraw all such weapons from hands of PF thugs and the make that pronouncement. It is not UPND members who are a problem but the failure by your office to stop the PF thugs panga, stone, hoes, axes, and gun culture which is a problem. Unless you address that problem urgently with the PF government, your statement will be of no effect and consequence.
As a country we are in a serious crisis, there is no law And order largely because PF thugs are above the law, you have clearly failed to take pre-emptive and decisive measures against them. You move swiftly on small thugs like those in Kanyama who attacked our innocent children at Lady Dianna school yet the commanders are still on the street because of their connections to senior PF members.
When it is UPND members accused of causing violence or attacking someone, you swiftly arrest and within a day even without your own personal conviction in your mind, and the accused appears in court immediately! This is bringing tension and you must stop it sir.
Why don’t you do the same to PF cadres?
IPS UPND SOUTHERN PROVINCE