By Bennie Mundando
DEPUTY Inspector General of police in charge of operations, Bonny Kapeso, was wrong and has made a hasty decision to transfer the traffic police officer to Mongu, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has said.
Early yesterday, a video recorded by a Patriotic Front (PF) cadre named Buseko Chellah believed to be from Northmead branch in Lusaka emerged in which a traffic police officer is alleged to have said President Lungu would not win the 2021 elections, words reported by the same cadre.
Acting on the video, Mr. Kapeso announced the disciplining of the officer who was filmed and his consequent transfer to Western Province for onward deployment.
“We have already taken action against the officer. He has since been removed from traffic and transferred to Western Province for further deployment under general duties.
“The Inspector General of Police, Mr Kakoma Kanganja, will not condone indiscipline among the rank and file of the police service and members of the public must also not attempt to assume police roles for which they are not trained. Thank you for bringing the matter to the fore,” Mr. Kanganja said.
But later in the day, Mr. Stephen Kampyongo said it was wrong for Mr. Kapeso to transfer the traffic police officer who was involved in an altercation with a PF cadre before investigating the matter.
He says police must fully investigate the matter involving an altercation between a Lusaka traffic police officer and a PF cadre before making any hasty decision.
Meanwhile, National Democratic Congress (NDC) deputy spokesperson Chipoka Mulenga says the cadres from the PF are disrespecting the Zambian presidency with their continued intimidation of police officers.
Mr. Mulenga says the continued intimidation and harassment of the police by PF cadres is getting out of hand.
“It is insulting, demeaning and disrespectful to the commissioning office, the Presidency. Police officers are a pride of the nation and full members of Executive, the organ under the Presidency. Police officers are trained to maintain law and order in the country regardless of individuals involved.
“The uniform and duties they have, are commissioned by the President. Any kind of assault on the police is a direct assault on the Presidency under who it falls. Therefore, the PF must not allow cadres to treat the police like their pets. That treatment is actually directed on the head of State.
“It is unacceptable to see police officers being disregarded by PF cadres every day. Besides being civil servants, they are humans with emotions. Their fear to react is not a sign of being unwise or weak, it is because of the fear to be retired in perceived national interest when they act professionally. A precedence was set in Sesheke,” Mr. Mulenga said.