(By Oliver Chisenga and Edwin Mbulo)
IT’S sickening to even comprehend just how irresponsible this government is, Chishimba Kambwili said following reports that President Edgar Lungu’s government has fired senior police officers in Sesheke.
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema as assured the four police officers dismissed for professionally executing their duties that they will get their jobs once the opposition party forms government.
President Lungu has fired the senior police officers believed to have ordered the beating of PF cadres in Sesheke last week.
Those fired include decorated Seheske officer commanding Shaapa Wakunguma and his deputy Fleming Chilongo. Others are Sesheke Police Station officer-in-charge Boniface Lengwe, and a constable Fredrick Mukela.
“SHQ 53/15/14 of 16/02/19XX be informed that the Police Service Commission Acting in the name of, and on behalf of his Excellency the President has with immediate directed that the following officers are retired in National Interest: 1986 Mr. Shaapa Wakunguma S/Supt officer
commanding Sesheke District, 2672 Mr. Chilongo Fleming Second Officer Commanding Sesheke District , 2865 Mr. Lengwe Boniface A/ Supt Officer in-charge Sesheke District, 40453Const Mukela Fridric of Sesheke Police Station,” the police notice read in part.
The message form further indicated that the officers’ letters of retirement had been sent by post.
“Inform the concerned officers accordingly XX…this message may be sent as written,” the signed message by DCP read.
The Patriotic Front bitterly complained after police beat up its cadres who were armed with machetes and other offensive weapons on voting day who, according to reports, had been taunting them to step aside so that they do their work because the officers had allegedly failed to carryout their duties.
But Kambwili lamented that President Lungu chose to retire vibrant and dedicated career officers while those who brutally killed University of Zambia student Vespers were still within the police service.
“Wonders shall never end, senior police officers in Sesheke have been fired over the intercity armed PF cadres who were beaten. This has happened within a week, the President has fired senior cops who chose to deal with the real problem this time around. Without advocating for police brutality, I feel this decision is utterly unfair,” Kambwili said. “The cops who killed Vespers are still within the police service, it has been months since they killed an innocent soul and up to now nothing has been done about the criminals who tear gassed a young girl to death. It’s sickening to even comprehend just how irresponsible this government is. How can a responsible government pride in thugs over their own innocent school children? It’s sad and the people are watching what is going on.”
Wakunguma, the Commanding officer, has been representing the country both as policeman and Judoka since 1988.
A product of veteran Judoka Fr Jude McKenna, Wakunguma is also a recipient of the President’s insignia for meritorious achievement from former President Rupiah Bwezani Banda.
A police source said other officers were not pleased with the decision as it was politically motivated.
And Hichilema said he had noted with dismay continued harassment and firing of civil servants performing their duties lawfully by the PF.
“It is appalling to note how the PF has swiftly concluded that the officers broke the law when for months now no one has been found wanting over the death of a student at the University of Zambia. This is unfortunate,” Hichilema said.
“We are aware that young professionals working in government have not only suffered in terms of poor conditions of service but also physical attacks, unlawful dismissals from known PF officials including Mr Edgar Lungu himself as a beneficiary of lawlessness in the country.”
Hichilema assured assure all the civil servants “and in this case men and women in uniform” not to lose hope because once in government, “we will give back your jobs”.
“There is nothing good as moving on with a clear conscience, especially knowing too well that yours was to serve the country diligently and not a group of select corrupt few,” Hichilema said.
“As a party we call on the country to unite against the PF’s continued lawlessness being funded by loans and corruption acquired at the expense of the majority poor. We would also like to appeal to the Nation to remember that actions such as firing of professional civil servants for performing lawful duties such as deterring known PF unruly thugs has the potential to further create anarchy in a country whose economy is already on its knees. This is because citizens will have no choice but to defend themselves whenever attacked by the PF corruption and loans funded thugs.”
Hichilema called on the nation to defend themselves against any attack by the PF thugs because law and order enforcers have been made unimportant by the PF leadership.
“Self defence is a constitutional right that each and every citizen of our country enjoys and this is part of the people power which is your power to override the corrupt few in the PF led by Mr Edgar Lungu,” said Hichilema.
Chief Mukuni said President Lungu is setting a wrong precedence in his actions against the Sesheke police officers.
“We are in an apartheid era where some people, especially the PF, are more superior than others. President Lungu has been fast in acting against the officers in Sesheke when we have a lot of them still roaming the corridors of the police with Vespers and Chibulo’s blood
on their hands. It seems to the PF it is better to kill those I would say are the right people instead of stopping any sorts of violence against any Zambian. What wrongs did the police officers in Sesheke do as opposed to those behind the death of Vesper and Chibulo? This is
absurd and time will tell and it is fast approaching,” said chief Mukuni.