Hakainde Hichilem: Police have been taken over by PF cadres
We have a problem where the police have been taken over by PF cadres and thugs, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilem has protested.
Commenting on the brutal arrest and assault on NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili’s wife Carol by the police at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Hichilema noted that PF thugs were wearing police uniforms.
He asked Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to clean up the police service with immediate effect.
“It is a sad development from many angles…first the court is a public place and when the accused are called to court, the law allows relatives, friends to be in attendance in court but the fracas going on at the gates there, where people are restrained from coming into court even within the [COVID-19] guidelines, that’s why you see me with a mask, we are meeting the health guidelines, I am meeting the health guidelines, she [Carol] also met the health guidelines; there should never have been scuffling at the gate. I can confirm the scuffling going on because I can say I was briefly detained at the gate, that’s a detention, that’s problem number one,” Hichilema said. “There must be free flow of people in and outside the court when they have business to do in court. She had business to do in court. I have business to do in court. Even you the media have business to do in court.”
Hichilema said no professional police service would act in the manner the officers at Lusaka Magistrates’ Court did when they brutalised and stropped Kambwili’s daughter Chanda while the wife was bundled in a police van like a common criminal.
He lamented that the PF government was acting in a lawless manner.
“The second issue is that the police did not act professionally to manhandle a wife of a person in prison. How does anyone normal expect a wife to behave? She is coming here to attend a court hearing for her husband but she is being harassed! Naturally, she is already in a mood as a human being that needs compassion, not attacking her. I understand she has been bruised and brutalised by the police…what’s happening with the police? What’s happening with the police command? What’s happening with those in charge of the police, those who believe are in charge of this country? This is lawlessness in itself, to manhandle Mrs Kambwili and her daughter, it’s lawlessness,” Hichilema said.
“There is a perception in our country that lawlessness means that only those outside the government can be lawless but now we have the state, you have the government, you have the PF acting in a lawless manner. This is yet another demonstration of the absence of the rule of law. No respect for the laws that apply around court issues, no respect for human rights because it is a right for us to be here (court), it’s her right to be here. This is unacceptable, she must be released forthwith, the police should be ashamed for taking her into police cells; imagine the trauma she is going through! The husband is already in prison, where is the human face of this leadership of the PF?” he asked.
Hichilema said there were a lot of delinquents that police needed to cage instead of a woman who is already disturbed by the jailing of her husband.
“The PF lied that they were a people’s government but they never were, they lied and that’s why…the English say the taste of the pudding is in the eating, we can see that they are lawless and don’t respect human rights. They need to release the lady now; it’s the only sensible thing to do. There are too many criminals out there, on our trip to Kasama and back, we were attacked in Mpika by PF criminals in full view of the police, they should arrest those not her. In Lavushimanda we were attacked, in full view [of police] including gunshots fired at us but those who committed crimes are in their homes and Mrs Kambwili is in detention. This is jungle law. And it also happened in Serenje, those are the ones to be in detention not her,” Hichilema lamented.
“This is yet another problem where we have the police taken over by PF cadres and thugs. PF thugs are wearing police uniforms. Those of us who went for some military training, part of the training is about professionalism, about discipline. If you want to discipline others you must be disciplined yourself,” he said.
The UPND leader said the conduct of the officers pointed to a lack of discipline. He, however, said the rot lies in the fact that there were PF cadres who were wearing police uniforms.
He wondered how the country would be the next five years if PF is left to be in government. Hichilema called on all Zambians to get together to send the PF packing in 2021.
“Imagine living like this for another five years plus! How shall we live as a country? How shall we survive? We should all work together, tumane akapi tubombele capamo, tusebenzele pamodzi. Now there is only two sides, the bad, the ugly, the corrupt, the surrogate, the PF and all the Mwankoles on one side and on the other side is good, the people of Zambia where we should all be,” Hichilema said.
He asked all those who were undecided to take a decision as either one was with the people or against the good. Police arrested Carol and Chanda after beating them up severely.
When the duo went to attend Kambwili’s appeal hearing at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court, police denied them entry. And when they insisted that they should enter, police officers immediately descended on them, mercilessly beating them up. They were later bundled into a police van and taken to Kabwata Police Station where they have been detained.
And later in an interview with Lusaka’s Diamond Television, one of Kambwili’s lawyers, Christopher Mundia, confirmed the two arrests.
“Yes, I can confirm that Mrs Kambwili and her daughter Chanda have been arrested. Mrs Kambwili has been charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace. And Dr Kambwili’s daughter Chanda has been charged with assault on a police officer,” he said. “Puzzling as that may sound, my clients have sustained substantial injuries. And, in fact, if there’s anybody who has been assaulted in the equation today, it’s them. I do not know why the police had to be so heavy-handed with them, especially that they are two defenceless women. But, from what I gather so far, they were told that they could not see…Mrs Kambwili could not see her husband and Chanda Kambwili could not see her father. So, that is the reason why the police were so brutal with them.”
Mundia, however, said he could still not understand why the two women could not be allowed entry into the court premises when that was a public place.
“They could not allow them access to the court premises. I do not know why that is the situation, especially that these are public hearings, any member of the public can attend these hearings; so, it’s quite surprising. Obviously, they’re very distraught, they’re very disturbed at the turn of events, especially with the violence that was used against them by the police,” said Mundia. “At the moment we’ve been advised that the arresting officer is the officer-in-charge at Kabwata Police Station, so I think he’s still at the Magistrates’ Court premises, so I will be heading back there for the bail application. So we’ll pick it up from there…. So, if the police decide that they want to take the matter to court, we’ll receive our instructions and I’m sure we’ll put up a robust defence like always.”
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