(By Charles Tembo in Kitwe)
POLICE in Kitwe have interrogated Zambia National Association of Sawmillers president William Bwalya in connection with Monday’s riots over the alleged sale of ZAFFICO. The officers also confiscated Bwalya’s personal phones “temporarily to assist the police in getting more information.”
Bwalya yesterday confirmed his interrogation and urged other members that would be called by the police to cooperate.
“I wish to confirm that I was yesterday [Wednesday] interrogated by the Zambia Police provincial headquarters senior officers at Mindolo Police Station for about three hours. Our secretary for Kitwe and our association secretary general were also interrogated. I wish to state here that the police officers were professional as they wanted to discontinue my interrogations upon learning that I was unwell and could not withstand the rigors of the interviews. But I insisted that we proceed with the interrogations as I could not waste their time if I was the one they travelled all the way to get some information from or interview in their quest to maintain law and order. I am merely a worthless servant in the equation,” Bwalya stated.
“The officers were trying to establish the masterminds or people who started the Copperbelt riots over the intended listing of ZAFFICO on the LuSE [Lusaka Stock Exchange]. Our personal phones have been confiscated temporarily to assist the police in getting more information. To all those ringing my extended families to find out where I am, I wish to confirm that I was released around 20:00 hours yesterday [Wednesday] and I’m now at home. My medication was given to me and the officers were good enough to provide me with water when I felt thirsty and my mouth dry and needed medication. At least they did not give me vinegar like in the case of Jesus. I am extremely grateful. After the interrogations, statements were taken and we all signed at our different times believing the same to be true.”
Bwalya stated that other association leaders should not run away when called by the police.
He stated that Zambia was for all to speak for the right or differ in common understanding.
“To all our association leaders that are called by police, please kindly avail yourselves to them. Do not run away. We are patriots and it is our duty to help the police. Zambia is our country together, politicians, ministers, and common citizens alike. Zambia is our motherland where we have an inalienable right to speak for right or differ in our common understanding. We still shall live as one people,” stated Bwalya.
“I know my flesh is weak, but my spirit is much strong to those worrying for me. I shall keep on communicating with you when I get access to the means of communication. At the moment I have no such means. Please bear with me. Lastly, I wish you well and good day.”
Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja on Tuesday said investigations into the riots would capture even those that made instigating statements.