President of the opposition Patriots for Economic Progress Sean Tembo has said he is disturbed by the various reports of the defense forces arbitrary assaulting members of the public at various road checkpoints in the evening, the most recent case being employees of Hungry Lion who are said to have been removed from their staff bus and made roll on the ground in dirty water.
He said other reports include elderly women being beaten in the compounds as early as 19:00hrs in the evening.
Mr Tembo said the Government of Zambia in general and the President of the Republic in particular, must inform the nation on whether Zambia in a state of emergency and whether a curfew has been imposed across the nation.
He said if not, as it appears to be the case since no gazette notice has been published to that effect, then the security and defense wings must desist from terrorizing innocent citizens in the name of fighting the ongoing chemical gassing.
“May it be known to all those in authority that Zambians are already subjected to enough terror due to their aggravated levels of poverty and squalor, and do not deserve any additional terror whether it be by way of being chemically gassed at night or by way of being beaten for no apparent reason by members of the security and defense wings under the pretext of fighting chemical gassing. Zambia is a nation of laws. May those in authority please respect the laws of this land”, he said.
Mr Tembo has also observed that the Zambia Police are too focused on apprehending the perpetrators of mob justice than they are in apprehending the perpetrators of chemical gassing.
Commenting on the update given by Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja on the security situation, Mr Tembo said this is evidenced by the fact that up to now, more than 3 months after this terror first began, the Police still have not apprehended the master-minders of this chemical gassing.
Mr Tembo said it is clear that the Police have their priorities upside down because the problem of mob justice is a direct product of the terror being perpetrated on innocent citizens by chemical gassing.
He said the Patriots for Economic Progress expect the Police to prioritize the primary problem without getting carried away by the secondary problem.
Mr Tembo has further noted that the Police have apprehended numerous suspects of mob justice.
He said this is commendable provided that the Police actually have solid evidence against these suspects and that these suspects are not arbitrarily arrested by the Police just so as to portray a false picture that they are doing something about the problem of mob justice.
Mr Tembo added that given that the majority of these suspects obviously come from a poverty-stricken backgrounds and cannot afford legal representation to exonerate themselves in case they are innocent, and also given the fact that the charges of murder leveled against these suspects are non- bailable, Police must avail these suspects of mob justice to the courts of law in the shortest possible time, so that those who are innocent can have an opportunity to exonerate themselves.
He said the Police must not be allowed to infinitely detain these suspects because that will constitute a wrong on the part of the Police.