Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations Bonnie Kapeso has directed all police officers in the country to grant all political players equal opportunities and space to engage the electorates in selling their party programs and manifesto.
And UPND Deputy National Youth Chairman Gilbert Liswaniso has attributed the escalating levels of violence in the country to Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo who is cited in the report of the Commission of Inquiry on political violence and voting pattern in Zambia.
Mr. Kapeso says political parties should be accorded an opportunity to convince Zambians that it was the right and most favorable political institution to drive the country’s economic and social agenda forward without any undue pressure and influence.
Mr Kapeso who was speaking when he met a delegation from the United Party for National Development led by its Deputy National Youth Chairman Gilbert Liswaniso in Lusaka expressed sadness at the amount of hurt and scorn directed at his officers by political cadres across the divide and warned that his officers will not condone such behavior.
“Zambia Police is in charge of everything. Whether it is UPND, NDC or PF cadres, we as the Police demand respect because we are in charge. That one I shouldn’t even mince my words about it. We demand respect because we have had enough of confrontations from you political cadres. You insult and say all kinds of words against us. Yes, that is the job but allow us to do the job that we chose to do in the manner we feel it fit. At the end of the day, we must ensure that the people we are dealing with are respected as well”, Mr. Kapeso told the meeting which included Lusaka Provincial Police Commissioner Nelson Phiri.
He has since urged his officers across the country to remain exemplary and professional as God will judge their performance based on their professionalism to duty and called on political players to cooperate with his office in showing the world that Zambia is owned by mature and responsible Zambians with a full conscience that the country needs protection from everyone.
Mr. Kapeso further assured the UPND that no bone will be broken provided people operate within the confines of the law as he prayed that the current cordial momentum is maintained towards 2021 national elections.
And Gilbert Liswaniso urged Mr Kapeso to ensure that all political players are treated equally as failure to do so will lead to the anarchy that the party is hoping against but might have no control should the membership continue to feel segregated by the service.
Mr. Liswaniso said the police top brass which include the Inspector General, Kakoma Kanganja and the ten provincial police commissioners have been a letdown in the impartial maintenance of law and order in the country and cited recent developments on the Copperbelt where UPND members were arrested for merely participating in intra-party elections which are a constitutional requirement.
“My appeal to you bwana deputy I. G is that please talk to your Commissioner for Northern Province, Mweene and Deputy Commissioner Western Province Chipasha. All illegalities in the Northern province have the blessings or the police commissioner and we don’t want problems. Talk to them because they are in the forefront creating problems for our members. Why should our members be arrested for merely following a constitutional requirement? We don’t need to beg your office for us to perform a constitutional requirement. The only thing I can beg you in the police service is to vote for the UPND that’s all. The rest lie within my rights which should be respected”, he added.