INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja should explain to the nation why the service has developed cold feet in arresting the PF cadres who killed their fellow party member in intraparty violence which erupted during the Chilanga district council chairperson nomination race on May 18, Stephen Chikota has said.
Chikota, the UPND deputy national youth chairman – administration, said it was now over a week since the
late PF supporter Job Lusanso was buried and, so far, the Zambia Police Service, under Kanganja’s command, appeared not keen to bring the culprits to book.
He said it beats any sane person’s understanding that the ruling party could murder one of its own members who was a husband and father of seven children and yet the Zambia Police remains mute.
“It is equally shocking that the police has failed to effect appropriate criminal charges against those involved in the fracas which resulted into a grave violation of the right to life. Why are those responsible for Mr Lusanso’s death still walking with their heads high on the streets? In this criminal matter, we expect the police command to show the same zeal and energy which enable them to quickly arrest members of the opposition on flimsy grounds. Mr.
Lusanso was not only a PF supporter but also a husband, father and a Zambian citizen whose demise cannot be underplayed,” Chikota said.
He said it was already in public domain that Annie Brown, who had earlier been adopted for the council chairperson position, had reported Lusanso’s attackers to the police.
Chikota noted that for whatever reason, Kanganja’s police appeared helpless to do what was expected of it.
He said the police was expected to act professionally in order to build confidence among Zambians that no one was above the law.
“Zambia Police spokesperson Mwata Katongo has only ended at denying that the police discharged tear gas canisters but she has not furnishing the nation with the details on how Mr Lusanso died. This lukewarm approach to a criminal matter of such magnitude tells a lot about the type of police service we have under Mr Kanjanja. The police should never be partisan. But this behaviour has potential to completely destroy professionalism in police service. It is not the role of the police service to shield acts of violence within the ruling party,” he said.
Chikota further said Kanganja’s appalling failure to be firm and take action against perpetrators of violence in the PF was what had led Zambia to where it is in terms of cadre violence and thuggery.
He noted that when it was political violence and thuggery involving the party in power, the service had been very effective in issuing blanket warnings.
“The country is now paying for the police failure to stand firm and act professionally. We expect PF secretary general Davies Mwila to equally break his silence over the death of his own party sympathiser in Chilanga. What is the meaning of his silence? Does he not care about the loss of a precious life or is it that political violence and thuggery within the PF should be treated as normal? Mr Mwila should be the first person to condemn intraparty fights within his party. He still has fresh memories of a similar intraparty violence which took place not long ago at his own office.
Mr Mwila should know by now that by keeping quiet, his party is nurturing political monsters who have demonstrated no fear to take violence to the highest level even within his party,” he said.
Chikota said the UPND was worried that even the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had remained mute over the Chilanga violence where the filling in process was disrupted due to the PF intraparty fights.
“Has the ECZ not heard about the Chilanga incident?
Is it because the matter involves the ruling party? As for Mr Kanganja, we demand nothing but action in the arrest of the masterminds of Mr Lusanso’s death.
Although Mr Lusanso was not a UPND member, we have a responsibility to care for the life of every single citizen of this country,” Chikota said.
He said citizens were tired of mourning victims of political violence and thuggery perpetrated by the PF.
“Has this country not lost enough of its children because of the PF’s disregard for human life?” asked Chikota.