Opposition alliance demands arrest of PF cadres who illegally protested at Parliament last Friday

THE opposition alliance says it is shocked that the police have failed to arrest PF cadres who staged an unlawful protest at Parliament on Thursday.

In a statement, alliance chairperson for media and finance Sean Tembo noted that the PF protests were illegal.

“As opposition alliance, we have noted with dismay the decision of the Zambia Police Service not to arrest Patriotic Front members who staged an unlawful protest at Parliament on Thursday, 14th February 2019, despite the police acknowledging that the said protestors did not comply with the provisions of the public order Act by giving notice, thereby making the protest itself illegal. As opposition alliance, we are aware that not so long ago, a group of civil society activists who staged a lawful protest at Parliament against the $42 million fire tender scandal were quickly arrested by the police and taken to court, where they were subsequently acquitted. This clearly shows double standards and segregation on the part of the Zambia Police Service in their enforcement of the law, by favouring citizens who belong to and are affiliated to the ruling Patriotic Front over the rest of the citizens who don’t,” Tembo stated.

“By institutionalising segregation on the basis of political affiliation in its enforcement of the law, the Zambia Police Service has breached the Constitution of this Republic. It must be noted that the Zambia Police Service itself derives its power from the Constitution of Zambia. Therefore, the police cannot wantonly breach one part of the Constitution and then in the same breath claim to be enforcing another part of the same Constitution.”

Tembo stated that the Zambia police Service should be decided on whether citizens should follow the constitution or not.

“We cannot have PF members as first class citizens who are above the law, and the rest as second class citizens who are subject to the law. The Zambia Police Service must also decide whether they are a state institution whose salaries are paid by taxpayers’ money, or they are a militia of the ruling Patriotic Front, in which case the PF party must pay their salaries. If the Zambia Police Service insist that they are a State institution whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers of this Republic, then they must henceforth start enforcing the laws of this Republic fairly and equitably across the board, regardless of the political affiliation of the individuals involved,” he stated.

“It is on the basis of the foregoing that we in the opposition alliance demand, as we hereby do, that the police immediately arrest all the PF members who staged an illegal protest at Parliament on Friday as they are all well known. Failure by the Zambia Police Service to arrest the culprits in question will be an indictment on the police that they are not a State institution, but rather a militia of the ruling PF party who are only willing to do the bidding of the PF, and nothing else.”

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