Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) President Sean Tembo has appealed to the Zambia Police Service to reform, establish and develop a good relationship of trust with the members of the public as this will help them to easily acquire information when conducting investigations.
Mr Tembo noted that the Police need to create a relationship with the public that will make the people feel the need to share any information that they might feel might be helpful in resolving a particular crime.
He said that as long as there’s poor relations between the Police in particular and the Law Enforcements in general and the public, then it will be very difficult for Law Enforcements to be able to solve crimes such as this particular abduction of the 13 girls.
“Anywhere you go in the world, anywhere where Law Enforcements are involved in resolving crimes, it is a well-established fact that for Law Enforcements to be able to solve crimes they need to have very good relations with the community, but here in Zambia in this particular case we saw that the public relations of the Police are very poor as the Police and the public do not work hand in hand because the Police are always in the habit of harassing the public,” he explained
“If the Police keep on harassing the public, there’s no way that the Police can develop trust among the members of the public to the extent that the public can freely share information with the Police if the public come across something that they think might be of helpful to resolve a crime,” he added
Mr Tembo cited that it is very important that the Police invest in good relations with the public and the starting point to establishing this good relations is by ensuring that the Police conduct themselves in an honourable and professional manner, they investigate cases free of partisan affiliation because when the public sees that the Police are acting professionally then they will begin to trust the Police because as things stand at the moment there’s very little trust between the public and the Police and this is contributing to the failure by the Police resolve cases such as this particular abduction.
Meanwhile, Mr Tembo disclosed that the statement made the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Jack Mwiimbu stating that the reason the Police took long to recover the 13 abducted girls is because some of them where at a boarding house and the parents thought the girls where at school where as the school authority thought the girls where at home, is not a very honest statement on the part of the Minister.
“We have followed this matter for a long period of time and it is on record that as it is something that was well covered on a number of TV stations that they were relatives who reported their relatives missing at Chawama Police and they where turned away from that particular Police station that the Police could not investigate on claims that the girls could have gone away with their boyfriends, and those relatives ended up moving from Chawama Police station to go and file their cases at Chilenje Police even at Chilenje Police the matter was not properly followed,” Mr Tembo explained
Mr Tembo added that for the Minister speaking on behalf of the Police alleging that the reason it took long for the girls to be recovered is because the matter was not reported to the Police, is a total case of dishonesty by the Minster.
“Our appeal to the New Dawn Administration and the Minister of Home Affairs in particular is that they should endeavor to be as honest as possible to the public because it is only through being honest that the public can develop trust in them,” he said
He mentioned that if the Authorities, the Minister and the government are being dishonest in the manner they are handling this particular case of the 13 abducted girls then they cannot hope to develop trust among the members of the public, and if the public does not have trust in the Authorities, the Police then they will find it very difficult to share information with the Authorities that will assist them to resolve some of these cases.
“Our appeal to Mr Mwiimbu is that the next time he addresses the media and the nation he needs to try to be as honest as possible, let him not try to twist things so that he makes his government appear competent when they were incompetent in handling of this particular abduction, it doesn’t help anybody,” he stated
He noted that when the Minster, the Inspector General of Police and the Police begin to be honest then the public will be able to consider them as partners in resolving crimes such this particular case of the abduction of the 13 girls.
Mr Tembo said that the Police should have attached some form of reward to this case as this would have motivated people with information to come forward to give information on what they have seen or heard concerning the 13 abducted girls, as this would have somehow helped to recover the girls earlier.