SEVERAL Livingstone police officers have complained of abuse of office by a senior officer after he allocated an institutional house in the police camp to his pastor.
But Southern Province police commissioner Bonny Kapeso has directed the unnamed pastor to immediately vacate the police house (by 17:00 hours yesterday) without fail. Several police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity said the senior police officer’s acts had led to demoralisation among them.
“Our Officer-Commanding is abusing his office and his actions have led to poor performance among officers. Imagine while we are grappling with an issue of ideal accommodation for police officers as most of us are living in what you would term ruins or death traps, our OC has decided to give a house meant for a senior officer to his pastor who is not a police officer. The house is meant for senior police officers and was once the residence of State House Police Commissioner Chewe Bowa,” one police source said.
Another said that the house in question was situated next to the ZAF Officers’ Mess and Banquet Hall, a few metres from the Livingstone Central Police Station.
“The house in question is meant for senior officers at divisional leadership levels…we demand fair justice and treatment because most of us are living in one bed-roomed houses that were build in the 1950s and are now failing apart,” the source said.
Another source said that the senior officer had also allocated police accommodation to a senior police officer on transfer from Lusaka to Livingstone who had not vacated the police house in the capital city.
When contacted on Friday, Kapeso said he had instructed that the pastor vacates the house before 17:00 hours (yesterday).
“I was not aware that a pastor is in the police camp and I have directed that he leaves the police house today without fail before 17:00 hours,” Kapeso said.
As for a senior officer occupying two police houses, Kapeso said conditions of service do not permit such.
“If you have the name of that officer whose family is in Lusaka and he or she has been given another house, please share that information with me. All I have been told is that one officer who was earmarked for a police house in Livingstone should make arrangements to move the family staying in Lusaka to Livingstone once the house falls vacant,” said Kapeso.