By Bennie Mundando
POLICE has warned that it shall never tolerate any scheme by any political party to cause anarchy in the country ahead of the 2021 elections and that any lawlessness shall be met with the proportionate force it deserves.
Police spokesperson Esther Katongo has warned that Zambia was bigger than anyone and that those scheming to cause any hullabaloo ahead of the 2021 elections will have themselves to blame as they will be dealt with accordingly.
Ms. Katongo also sounded a warning to those rumormongering about the recent developments saying they must restrain from commenting on issues they did not understand as they risked sympathizing with perpetrators of heinous crimes.
“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.
“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.
As Zambia Police, our resolve is to protect the people of Zambia from any form of criminality and we shall do just that in fulfilling our Constitutional mandate,” Ms. Katongo said.
Meanwhile, Ms. Katongo has thanked the families of late Nsama Nsama Chipyoka of National Prosecutions Authority and United Party for National Development (UPND) member Joseph Kaunda, the duo who were slain last week, for peacefully conducting themselves during both funeral processions.
“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.
“Prior to the illegal public activity, the Inspector General of Police had advised political cadres to stay away from the planned illegal public activity. The Minister of Home Affairs 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,” she said.
“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. This provision does not exempt those that want 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. The Zambia Police, being an institution charged with the responsibility of ensuring that public order and peace prevails at all times and that all law abiding citizens are protected from law breakers, shall not fold hands and watch lawlessness thrive,” she warned.