UNZA Don Condemns Police Brutality Against PF Cadres

Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa speaking during a News Diggers public discussion recently
File picture:Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa speaking during a News Diggers public discussion recently

Sishuwa Sishuwa has condemned the Zambia Police Service for beating PF cadres when corruption-accused Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya appeared in court.

Two weeks ago, Dr Chilufya appeared at the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court for plea. PF cadres led by Lusaka Province chairman Kennedy Kamba stormed the court, disrupted proceedings and forced Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale to adjourn the case to 16 July.

When the matter came up last Thursday, Zambia Police officers, led by Deputy Inspector General Bonny Kapeso, clobbered PF cadres who had gone to the courts to give solidarity to the Minister of Health.

Commenting on the incident, Sishuwa, a University of Zambia lecturer, said that the police acted unprofessionally.

“The recent beating of suspected PF cadres by the police was wrong and constitutes an act of lawlessness on the part of the law enforcement officers. Courts are public premises and citizens, including supporters of politicians, are free to attend court sessions. The problem only arises if a person, be they political cadres or indeed anyone else, disrupts court proceedings. Even in instances where police are permitted the use force, it should only use such force as is reasonably necessary to effect an arrest. The police have not told us that the people they beat were resisting arrest, so how would they justify the beating?”, asked Sishuwa.

He condemned the behaviour of PF cadres when Dr Chilufya appeared in court on 9 July but reserved similar condemnation for the police’s conduct last week.

“Is membership to the Patriotic Front or any other political party a crime? Instead of beating people, the police are supposed to arrest perpetrators of wrongdoing, regardless of their political affiliation, put them in police cells and have them charged. If the police occupy themselves with beating cadres, be they PF or UPND supporters, then they have forgotten about the rule of law, joined the thuggish behaviour and established themselves as an independent gang of thugs. The problem of inter-party violence then becomes a three-way war between the PF and the UPND and the police. Since the PF, in effect, control the police, the likely result of such a contest would be further erosion of public confidence in the police service.”

Sishuwa warned that Zambia would denigrate into lawlessness if the police adopt thuggish behaviour similar to that of the PF cadres.

“In one sense, the PF thugs who control the markets, bus stations and other spheres represent the REAL state, while the police are part of the formal state institutions. We must never forget that police belong to the bodies of armed men and women who enforce the ‘order’ on society of the dominant group, just as courts interpret the ‘law’ of this same group and finally another body of armed men and women in the form of prison warders will make sure one pays the price of having offended the dominant group. At the heart of this system is supposedly a ‘civilised organisation of violence’ for maintaining the ‘order’ of the dominant group.”

“These groups of ‘organised violence’ are parts of the machinery of the state called ‘government’. Clearly then, both the state and government are extremely dangerous armed organisations’. If political cadres become the dominant group, then they move to enact their values and effectively establish a state within a state. Is this what we want? Things can get a bit nasty. We must remember founding president Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s warning on the relationship between the state and violence: ‘The power which establishes the state is violence. The power which maintains the state is violence. The power which eventually destroys the state is violence’. To restore sanity, we have to blast the entire criminal State operation away, first by counter and stronger democratic force, then by institutional cleansing and hoping this leads to new cultures and behaviours,” Sishuwa noted.

He regretted that some people are commending the police’s actions simply because those on the receiving end are PF cadres.

“We must not look away simply because those on the receiving end of police violence are political opponents or people whose conduct we dislike. It is wrong for the police to beat people for expressing their political choices, as long as those concerned are not violent or breaking any law. What the police are doing, beating cadres, is to institutionalise violence. They are giving cadres reasons to attack them in future since they are now equal partners in committing acts of violence.

“But this support for police’s violence against fellow citizens speaks to what President Lungu and the PF have reduced us to: a people that is so polarised on political lines that we have lost our basic sense of humanity and see each other first as PF or UPND supporters rather than citizens with rights. Why can’t we see those who were beaten as human beings who deserve fair treatment, such as being arrested in a professional manner?”, Sishuwa wondered.

The UNZA academic expressed concern at the deep levels of political polarisation that have engulfed the country and the absence of leadership to heal the divide.

“I am greatly troubled, at times, by a feeling of unease that our country is drifting towards a costly and very dangerous disaster. If this political polarisation, coupled with the loss of public confidence in vital State institutions such as the Zambia Police Service or the Electoral Commission of Zambia, is not addressed before the next general elections, we must prepare for the worst, including possibly civil strife. Would Mr Lungu consider rising above partisan considerations to provide the required effective leadership?” asked Sishuwa

He noted that what Zambians want is a police service that is professional, not one that promotes violence against citizens.

“The police should strive to be professional in their work and to always act in accordance with the law. Otherwise, they risk losing their legitimacy. It is important to remember that the core operational duties of a professional police service is to maintain law and order, protect members of the public and their property, prevent the commission of offences and to bring the offenders to justice. To effectively execute these responsibilities, the police must possess the authority, widely recognised by the public, as the lawful and rightful body to enforce them and to do so in a professional and impartial manner that builds public confidence in the institution and helps improve the quality of life for all citizens.

“It is precisely this authority that has deserted the police in Zambia today. The public, rather than viewing it as an apolitical and professional body that is out to protect individual liberties of all Zambians regardless of their political affiliation, now generally consider the police as a hired gun for the elites in power and their supporters. To reverse this, the police should start enforcing the law in a professional way without any regard to partisan affiliation”, Sishuwa advised.


    • Stop being silly cos the guy is speaking sense. All what he says is how civilized countries’ police behave. Unfortunately in Zambia the country’s majority are savages who enjoy seeing a fight . You could see this in the newspapers excitement at seeing PF cadres beaten up by police as the headlines read: PF cadres given a good beating and such silly sentences. We arenot supposed to cheer thuggery no matter who does it. As a police officer you use force only when it is necessary. Any violence has to be justified but in Zambia after such beatings you hear no comment from the Police chief, no comment from Home Affairs Minister or the President and even from the press. Only Sishuwa knows how civilized people behave?

  1. The ones who are supposed to be condemned are the police, how do you allow your national headquarters to be breached by mare cadres, that is irresponsibility of the highest kind, maybe they need G4 or Cobra security to guard the head quarters, shame. It may be a very serious matter but those countries looking at us are laughing their lungs out.

  2. Zambia Police is not civilised enough to just arrest someone without getting physical, they behave like bemba women wakana kudya chinena chake. Vi mfuti vamene bankala navo viba pusika.

  3. Mwe bantu. This video is real and knows no one either talking sense or no sense. The crowd is totally an agent for the virus. If you want more attention kindly go home and entertain your siblings or kids

  4. A former Police Officer who served for 40 years was recently telling me in Kasama to say this is the worst police service and cited partisan nature of the command

  5. the takeawy from this is that there was no need for the police to beat the cadres, they had no weapons and did not resist arrest. Those arrested and beaten have the right to sue the police for assault occasioning bodily harm.

  6. On this one you have lost it Don. It is unacceptable for an ordinary member of public or cadre to drive a car with a blue police beacon on top simulating police vehicle, that is total anarchy. In UK only police are allowed to do so on the roads, ambulance and doctors with their designated colour of beacon. You try driving an own car with a blue beacon on top and see where you will end, first you will be pursued by armed police, cornered and given heavy sentence.

  7. @Felix; that’s a file picture. Not that the Don was addressing the crowds. However, well spoken Doc! violence is bad despite who the perpetrator and victim is. We can do better as a nation.

  8. Shishuwa misunderstood as usual. PF thugs initiated war when they beat ZP officers at their station.
    Kapeso beat up PF cadres for behaving like they are security wing above police. Remember Lusambo’s thugs showed up in a zesco vehicle with ZP blue lights flashing.
    Boyi Sishuwa are coming to Rodgers funeral? I will miss because of travel ban complications .

  9. There is no provision in the penal code for Police to beat anyone regardless of the magnitude of the offence. As Zambia moves to becoming a more civilized place you will start learning these things. Any punishment whether jailing, community service, lashing, or beating is the preserve of the courts, not Police, Not even one day, I know PF thugs are a big problem in our country and Police are trying hard to contain the situation but the problem is the PF leaders.

  10. Is anybody jotting down names of all violent party caders in Zambia regardless of Political affiliation. We will need this list after August 2021

  11. Sishuwa is not so sure on Police brutality any more … Kikikiki
    That thing was stage-managed!
    No PF cadre was as roughed up as you would see with opposition supporters. If those were opposition supporters, we would have had wounds, fractures or worse, deaths. PF cadres are still treated with kid gloves.

  12. True no Officer is allowed to beat anybody, even the hoax that the Police should are allowed to use reasonable force is not even in our statutes and must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves,, there is a lot of abuse, unbelievable even some schools still do have corporal punishment from ignorant and uncivilized teachers. No beating anywhere and no promotion of fights on cadres by Political party leaders. The lawlessness from the Police, the ruling party cadres and the opposition cadres must come to an end, we are tired of this fullishness

  13. There is a tendency in our country to blame the police for a high incidence of crime and whatever step they take to prevent it. Jay Jay Banda and his PF thugs stormed Lusaka Central Police and beat police officers because they had allegedly shot a criminal who was his relative. Are you sure the police were not capable of protecting themselves? It is the cadre-power that police fear and this power comes from their bosses such as Kamba, Lusambo, and others. Thus we must recognize that there are many causes of crime , such as komboni conditions, drug addiction, unemployment, regional developmental inequalities, ruling party interference, and other social factors over which the police have no influence or control. so instead of coldly blaming them, find ways of encouraging them. They…

  14. Lungu is the worst president Zambia has had , and god forbid , there will never be a worse president then him even if you tried ………

    The man has destroyed every system of governance in Zambia

  15. We need to retrain and overhaul the police service. We cannot have weak police who get beaten easily in their own place of work. Embarrassing

  16. We need to retrain and overhaul the police service. We cannot have weak police who get beaten easily in their own place of work. Embarrassing . Amen

  17. The person who needed to be shapuladi is this mobilization chap from Lusaka from the ruling party who is trying to export covid 19 to the relative calm Copperbelt. He has the audacity to assemble marketeers with no sense of responsibility and due regard to Covid 19 health guidelines. Very primitive and misguided loose canon, you cant do that, putting lives of innocent people at stake in pursuit of temporary earthly power. May God deliver you

  18. Chikubabe

    Very true ……….

    That was a staged managed affair with OP to dupe Zambians and the American ambassador who condemned PF cader violence recently … ……..

  19. State power is the police and other defense wings. By their very ineptitude the state police allowed the creation of militia and unruly cadres whom they are now failing to contain. Without the discipline of the security wings these homegrown and state power facilitated thugs have now turned on the state itself in effect. The police must restore order without resorting to openly avenging, revenging, or even terrorizing their own creation. We told you fo.ols.

  20. There is no iota of objectivity in this mans speech except in the usual manner to get to ECL. it is very clear even in his speech. What he Sishuwa fails to understand is that he is very biased and has no self introspection. He just confuses himself and others when he fails to outright condemn something without attaching it to the rulling party and PF in particular. What Sishuwa must understand is the system in which our country finds itself. Mapatizya, this don was mute, and other hooligan behaviour. A lone police man assorted at his duty station and this don makes no reference to it, Then the police acts it becomes an issue for him to get to Lungu. Very sad this kind of intelligence. You can still show your intelligence by self introspection and reduce your biasness.

  21. Objectively articulate Dr Sishuwa. Bonny Kapeso is just trying to take over job of Police IG and wants to be noticed.

  22. Please send those police men to get KZ.

    Cadres are just citizens. They should learn to stay in their lane.

    If these political parties really cared for youths, they would send them to school, instead of throwing them crumbs.

  23. Sishuwa has used irony of the perpetrators of violence being at the receiving end, to illustrate how we have lost professionalism and respect for the rule of law – more so since this regime took the reigns. It’s astounding that some bloggers still see this concern of how the state should behave in a civilised society, through the lens of mere partisan cadre wars

  24. Bonnie Kapeso, deputy IG operations. You get a small man who was probably bullied at school and put him in uniform and give him a gun and you expect order? He thinks that he is paid to disable people.

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