The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Brian Mundubile, has strongly criticized the New Dawn Administration for its alleged violation of human rights, specifically citing the ongoing arrests and mistreatment of Members of Parliament (MPs) by state police. In response to these concerns, opposition MPs staged a walkout from Parliament today, aiming to convey a message to Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu that they will not tolerate harassment and mistreatment from the police.
Mundubile emphasized the need for the Inspector General of Police to ensure that law enforcement officers are trained in how to treat Members of Parliament. He expressed frustration that while MPs are respected internationally, they are subjected to treatment akin to that of criminals within their own country. The walkout, according to Mundubile, was a symbolic action aimed at drawing attention to these issues.
“We have observed a concerning trend whereby MPs are being abducted and arrested without any prior notification or callouts,” Mundubile stated. “Recently, Honorable Robert Kalimi and Honorable Christopher Shakafuswa were arrested without being given any form of notice. We do not argue that MPs are immune from arrests; they are still subject to the law. However, the manner in which arrests are carried out should be conducted in an orderly fashion, considering the respect and stature of an MP. What harm is there in giving an MP a callout?”
Mundubile went further to allege that the police receive direct instructions from State House on how to harass opposition MPs. He claimed that President Hakainde Hichilema intended to instill fear in MPs due to attempts to sway them to join the United Party for National Development (UPND).
Expressing their discontent with the police’s conduct, the affected MPs, including Honorable Robert Kalimi (Malole MP), Honorable Munir Zulu (Lumezi MP), and Christopher Shakafuswa (Mandevu MP), spoke out against their mistreatment. Honorable Kalimi stated that the separation of powers in the country was under threat, as evidenced by the arrests of MPs without the knowledge of the Speaker. Honorable Shakafuswa pledged to continue speaking out against injustice and defending the nation’s democracy, while also challenging the alleged abuse of power by the police under the New Dawn Government.
Adding to the chorus of criticism, Honorable Zulu questioned why opposition members, particularly those from certain regions, were consistently targeted by the same police squad.
The walkout by PF MPs serves as a stark reminder of the deepening political divide in the country and raises concerns about the alleged infringement on the rights of elected officials. The New Dawn Administration and the police authorities have yet to respond to these allegations, leaving the public eagerly awaiting their official statements and a potential resolution to the ongoing issue.