HAKAINDE Hichilema has demanded the immediate resignation of Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja following the arrest of six protestors on Friday who were demanding answers on corrupt government deals.
Police yesterday stopped a peaceful protest by civil society members at Parliament and arrested Joint Action for Accountability in Zambia pioneer Laura Miti, musician Chama Fumba popularly known as Pilato, Mika Mwambazi, Sean Tembo, Lewis Mwape, and Bonwell Mwewa.
They were charged with disobedience of lawful orders after they refused to call off their peaceful protest at Parliament, which coincided with the presentation of the 2018 national budget by finance minister Felix Mutati.
The protestors were however released around midnight on bond.
Commenting on the arrests, Hichilema, the UPND president, said Kanganja must resign for arresting and detaining citizens who were merely protesting against the Patriotic Front’s corruption and injustices.
“I am advising Kakoma Kanganja to resign on his own for stopping, arresting and detaining citizens who were protesting against the broad daylight corruption of the PF and its leaders, especially Mr Edgar Lungu and his associates,”
He said the arrest and detention of citizens under the orders of the Inspector General of Police was a clear indication that he, too, was a beneficiary of corruption.
Hichilema said the protests were lawfully intended but that the police, like always, obeyed political calls from the PF at the expense of stopping corruption in the country.
“Kanganja must take note that he has for some time now been an architect of lawlessness in the country and he is in that office being paid by Zambians not PF, so when citizens demand answers, they must be allowed to [protest] but really Kanganja is trying hard to prove that he is part of lawlessness and citizens will teach him a lesson,”
Hichilema said he sympathised with those arrested for protesting the rising corruption levels in the government.
“I sympathise with my sister Laura, my brother and Musician Chama Fumba also known as Pilato, my brother Lewis Mwape, my sister Mwambanzi and others (Tembo and Mwewa) who were unlawfully arrested, detained and charged yesterday (Friday) for simply demanding answers from Mr Edgar Lungu and his PF, please remain strong,” he said.
Hichilema warned that Kanganja risked going down with the PF and its leaders over corruption and other injustices.
He told the police to immediately drop the charges against the six as taking the matter to court would be mere abuse of the judicial process.
“…not doing so will again prove that the police are working hand in hand with the PF to suppress citizens but also abuse courts’ time, and Kanganja does not learn especially that he, himself, has been dragged to court before,”
He wondered how long citizens would be denied their fundamental rights as police were in the forefront of abrogating the laws.
“But don’t sit idle when those claiming leadership are stealing with impunity and seemingly state institutions are there defending ills such as corruption…suppressing citizens, stealing from citizens and deliberately breaking the laws as is the case now must be stopped and amputated together with the PF and its leaders,” said Hichilema.