THE Zambia Police Service says the two deaths which occurred after a shooting incident in Lusaka on Wednesday would have not happened if the UPND leadership had listened to the advice given to them by authorities.
In a statement this morning, Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo said Police will not fold arms and watch lawlessness thrive.
On Wednesday, National Prosecutions Authority prosecutor Nsama Nsama along with a UPND a supporter Joseph Kaunda were shot in what Police termed “unclear circumstances” as UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema arrived for questioning at Police Force Headquarters in Lusaka.
The duo were put rest at the weekend and President Edgar Lungu ordered that Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja hands him a report of what transpired by today.
“As Zambia Police, we regret the loss of two lives which was as a result of the public disturbance which could have been avoided had the leaders of the Political party taken heed of the advice earlier given by relevant authorities,” stated Katongo.
Katongo said prior to the incident, Kanganja had advised political cadres to stay away from the planned “illegal public activity.”
She said Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo had also emphasised the need for cadres to stay away.
“…but the UPND leadership in their statement dared the police and went ahead to mobilize people to be part of the illegal public procession which saw cadres turning up in huge numbers,” Katongo stated.
“It should be understood that the Public Order Act regulates assemblies, public meetings and processions in this Country and section 5 (4) demands that persons intending to assemble or convene a public meeting, procession or demonstration should give police notice of their intention to do so,” she added.
Katongo said the same provision of the Public Order Act did not exempt those that wanted to give solidarity by gathering in a public place.
“It is therefore imperative that all those wishing to conduct a public activity do so within the confines of the law so as to avoid public disorder or being in confrontation with Law Enforcement officers,” she said.
Katongo said Zambia Police would not fold arms and watch lawlessness thrive.
“Being an institution charged with the responsibility of ensuring that public order and peace prevailed at all times and that all law abiding citizens are protected from law breakers, shall not fold hands and watch lawlessness thrive,” Katongo warned.
She said being an institution charged with the security of the nation; “we are privileged to have privileged information which members of the public may not have and we do understand that it is during public disturbances such as illegal public gatherings that criminal minded people who could also be part of those assembled, would want to advance their criminal activities which may in the end lead to loss of life.”
She said motive of such criminal minded people was to have the blame shifted on government institutions with a view of pushing the agenda of discrediting such institutions for political mileage.
“As the country prepares to go to a general election next year, we wish to state our position clear as Zambia Police that we shall never tolerate any scheme by any political party which has potential to cause anarchy in the country. Any lawless shall be met with the proportionate force because Zambia is bigger than any individual,” Katongo warned.
“We further urge members of the public to restrain themselves from commenting on issues that they may not fully understand because they may end up sympathizing with perpetrators of heinous crimes. Some criminal activities are beyond what meets the eye,” she added.
She the Police resolve was to protect the people of Zambia from any form of criminality and “we shall do just that in fulfilling our Constitutional mandate”.
©Kalemba December 28, 2020