The dismissal of 27 senior police officers has been deemed “unbelievable recklessness and lawlessness” by the President of the Socialist Party, Dr. Fred M’membe. The terminations took place on October 6, 2022, but were backdated to September 28, 2022. These experienced officers, who have served for over 25 years in most cases, have not been charged with any disciplinary offense.
“None of these officers has been charged with any disciplinary offense,” stated Dr. M’membe. “The officers were not political appointees but professional police officers who have risen through the ranks over many years.”
According to Dr. M’membe, the terminations were carried out with procedural impropriety and are a clear breach of the law. He also criticized President Hakainde Hichilema and his administration for acting as if the law does not apply to their decisions and actions.
“This is cruel and vindictive. The exercise of power must be a constant practice of self-limitation and modesty,” said Dr. M’membe.
In light of these events, Dr. M’membe is calling for accountability from President Hichilema and his administration. “Who will pay for this recklessness and lawlessness? There has to be accountability. And government accountability means that public officials, both elected and unelected, have an obligation to explain their decisions and actions to the citizens,” he added.
“Accountability lies at the heart of democratic government. It enables people to know how the government is doing and how to gain redress when things go wrong. It ensures the President, ministers, and civil servants are acting in the interests of the people they serve. Accountability is a part of good governance and can increase the trustworthiness and legitimacy of the state in the eyes of the public,” explained Dr. M’membe.
The officers who were dismissed have since sued the state over their terminations, and their termination benefits are yet to be paid. The future of these experienced police officers remains uncertain, and the public is calling for a proper explanation for their dismissals.