It’s the abuse of the police by President Lungu that has led to loss in public confidence

Fred M'membe
Fred M'membe

By Fred M’membe

Last week President Edgar Lungu made a very strange admission, or rather confession: “The public confidence in the police service is low, and it is up to the police, themselves, to regain that confidence by their actions. To this end, there is urgent need for the police service to address these public concerns if the people of Zambia are to regain confidence in them.”

It’s very difficult to disagree with what President Lungu is saying. But there’s one very serious omission: the cause of all this loss of public confidence in police.

It’s the abuse of the police by President Lungu and his followers that has, more than anything else, contributed to this state of affairs. They have turned the police into a wing of the ruling party for use against the opposition and other dissenting voices.

Nothing would be more dangerous than to confuse men and women who are responsible for the maintenance of law and order in our country.

Those in government, therefore, must remember that even for their own good, their fellow citizens in the police must be left to deal with the maintenance of law and order in the way they have been trained.

It’s very dangerous for politicians in the governing party to control the police and make it do their bidding.
In any country where law is deliberately twisted to entrap political opponents and in which police officers act as an extension of the ruling party cadres rather than impartial professional law enforcement officers, there can be nothing but tyranny and a mockery of justice. Let them continue abusing the police now, but let them also remember that when they have left the pinnacle of power what may appear acceptable on others now may taste oppressive. In other words, they should remember that while today it is them at the giving end; tomorrow it may be them at the receiving end.

On the other hand, police officers would greatly help to evolve a fair and impartial police, defend the rule of law and constitutionalism and guarantee the success of our multiparty political dispensation and pluralism, if, individually and collectively, they resolved to discharge their policing obligations without fear or favour.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda gave us very good guidance on this score: “First and foremost must come the quality of impartial fair play for I do not wish my policemen to be partisans to the many political and tribal feuds that may emerge in our country, as has happened in others. The worst policeman so far as I am concerned is that man who will not admonish or arrest another because he is of the same tribe, race or political sympathy. Equally reprehensible is the policeman who will not do his duty for fear that because he is of a different tribe, race or political feeling his deeds will be misunderstood. If you should ever find yourselves in a position of compromise against the principles of fair play and impartiality, then be humble enough to seek God’s guidance because neither the present nor the future generation will forgive you for betraying the many people who have died and suffered in the struggle to bring forth this independent land” (Police Training School, Lilayi – April 15, 1966).


  1. I agree with you. Now get arrested just for holding a small in-door gathering and that according to Edgar is freedom. This is the man that was shivering when Willie Chisanga Nsanda declared him PF President. Zambia Police is at its lowest under the trio of Edgar, Kanganja and Kampyongo. Anyway it’ll come to pass

  2. He single handedly put PF into power through his paper. If he was still benefiting from PF, he wouldn’t have said a single thing against PF.

    He must first apologise for leading the Zambians astray through his editorials.

  3. Zambia is now a Police State where Citizens are arrested with impunity and based Political Affliation. This happened when PF inflifrated its thugs in ZPS. How can the Public have confidence in a Police Force which shot and killed Nsama Nsama and Joseph Kaunda in cold blood recently. These two victims were innocent,unarmed and peaceful and were gunned down by ZPS heavily armed Military Policemen. ZPS has been politicised and can no longer operate Professionally to render a service to its Citizens. It’s now transformed into a PF Police Force serving the interests of the Ruling Party.

  4. A Police IG needs to be somebody recommended to Zambia by institutions like the Commonwealth, having one appointed by a sitting President does not work in this part of the world, the partisan approach taken by the Police is not new in this country. Dr Kaunda was grazed by a bullet in the head when he lost power and was trying to address a rally in Kabwe some years back. Of course it has worsened now where the public order act has openly been abused with the Vice president openly admitting abuse in parliament when she said UPND lost out on the public order act by not supporting bill 10

  5. Lungu is the worst president zambia has, and God willing, will ever have……

    Corruption, tribalism, cader violence , police incompetence, suppression of democracy, debt , unemployment, GDP, foreign reserves , inflation ………

    You name it , everything is worse under lungu.

    The only thing improving is pf and their thugs getting wealthier

  6. The capture of PF and state institutions
    In 2019 Lusaka Lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube reached an agreement with President Edgar Lungu to replace Davies Mwila at the PF party conversion.
    According to sources, state house through a Lusaka Business man Valden Findlay have Mr. Fube US$500,000 to drop his Ambitions of challenging President Edgar Lungu at the PF convention.
    Sources said Valden Findlay is the person calling shots in the PF and the main Financer of 2021 PF campaigns.
    Valden Findlay has tasked Lusaka Lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube to engage NDC Leader Chishimba Kambwili to also consider settling their difffences outside court in exchange for the PF Secretary General Position.
    Mr. Findlay believes that Davies Mwila who is the Current PF Secretary General is dull and can not help the PF…

  7. This country has great minds and great people. The only problem that we have is lack of credible opposition. When Mazoka (MHSEIP) and others formed UPND this was a credible national party. When he died, the party was hijacked by tribalistic hyenas who feasted on UPND political party and left only its skeletons. Today Hakainde is still talking about tribal balance. What a credible opposition will do is to set the MPs in parliament to support all progressive laws and not to sit outside and just criticise. This so-called socialist (Mumemebe) leader in capitalist skin is a sadist, bitter chap all he sees are his selfish ends he has no moral grounds to teach anyone. All his writing stem from his bitter judgement of his tax fraud that the PF made him pay. If these guys are so intelligent why…

  8. … If these guys are so intelligent why don’t they write on how we should create a better society for all but instead they only condemn and that is their song.

  9. I agree with Mwamona, Davis Mwila is dull and he not likeable and as for Fred Mmembe he would have more credibility if he paid his taxes when Sata was President but he got big headed.

  10. Your observation on the police is good. Kk really needed unify the country and embrace the One Zambia One Nation ideals. Now, bear in mind that His Excellence made unequivocal assertion to the effect that he has No vision of his own for Zambia. How else did you expect him to forewarn you? Don’t complain, I mean all of you Zambians.

  11. #10 Mwamona Nomba 

    I think CK does not need any engagement, he is financially squeezed by lungu and cornered by court cases including the findley defermation cases against him.

    Ck is begging lungu for forgiveness as we write and will do anything.

    Lungu and his team can see the politically diminished state of CK and are hesitant to financially reward him.

    The lack of financial resilience of CK , unlike HH , has broken him. He is a one track businessman.
    He is finished for now unless he reconciles with PF or PF lose 2021.

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