HOME affairs minister and Shiwangandu PF member of parliament Stephen Kampyongo has asked how special Dr Fred M’membe when asked if he knew why police in Chinsali raided his Mwika Village house on Saturday. Over 30 men clad in police uniform and driven in three vehicles raided Dr M’membe’s house, broke the gate and locks and removed all the ornaments decorating the residence.
At the time this was happening, Dr M’membe, who is Socialist Party’s 2021 presidential candidate, was addressing his maiden public rally in Kitwe.
The officers, according to the guards, did not have a search warrant as they just broke into the premises and chased them out.
The invaders have occupied the house and are reportedly eating the food for Dr M’membe’s security.
They also wanted to slaughter a cow but ended up killing a duck for food, according to the security guards.
Phoned yesterday over the raid and if he knew what it was all about, Kampyongo asked, “First of all before you go any further, how do I come in? What’s my role?”
Told that the people who invaded the house were in police vehicles and that he was the Minister of Home Affairs, Kampyongo responded that he does not micro-manage the Zambia Police Service.
“Even as you speak to me, they are busy doing all sorts of actions, so every time, where you see police action, there must be me?”
Kampyongo said the police help people to execute court orders daily and that he could not be everywhere they go.
Told that the incident happened in his constituency, Kampyongo countered: “So if it is happening in my constituency, how many people are being, are having issues with the police in my constituency on a daily basis?”
He wondered why the raid on Dr M’membe was being singled out as something special that he should know.
Advised to either say he knew nothing or that knew something, Kampyongo responded: “I don’t know anything. And I have got no time to waste to follow where the police have to be all the time. If you were asking me about Chibolya, how many people were in Chibolya to do a major operation there, do I have to be in Chibolya, it must be the Minister of Home Affairs, is that how it works? You and Dr M’membe could be The Mast but look, I have got no time to waste to comment on such things, you understand? If you are giving me news to say there is something that has happened, I don’t think that is the best way to give me the news.”
“That’s not the best way to give me the news because there are so many things that happen in my constituency, when have you ever picked a phone to call me, you as Mast, to ask me that these people have died in this area in your constituency! What’s so special about Dr M’membe? I am asking you; what is so special about Dr M’membe? Because I know you Mast and The Post you probably could be the same, tell me what’s so special?”
Told that the call was merely meant to find out if there was something that the opposition Socialist Party leader had done, Kampyongo still asked: “What’s so special? Is he so special? He is not a citizen like anyone else?”
Told that the police invaded the house without a search warrant, Kampyongo advised this report to enquire from the court.
“If Dr M’membe is special to you, he is just like any other citizen to the Zambia Police, do you hear me?” said Kampyongo.
“If it’s you wanting to give me that news, I don’t think that’s the best way to give me the news.”
Last year in December, Post Newspaper liquidator Lewis Mosho in a letter to Chief Nkula dated December 20, 2018, headlined “Caveat over piece of land allocated to Fred M’membe in Mwika Village, said the Constitutional Court on December 11, awarded costs to Post Newspapers (in liquidation) against “Fred M’membe and which costs are yet to be taxed to arrive at the quantum which he ought to pay to the company.”
“As part of security for recovery of such costs, we hereby inform you that the Post Newspapers Limited (In Liquidation) has registered its interest over the land allocated to Fred M’membe in Mwika Village, Sub Chief Mwaba Mwankulungwe, Chief Nkula area in Chinsali of Muchinga Province of Zambia together with all unexhausted improvements or structures thereon,” stated Mosho. “The liquidator of the Post Newspapers Limited (In Liquidation) is currently obtaining a legal opinion on several options including whether the said land and structures may be donated for use as hospital by the people of Zambia in the area. You will be informed in due course.”
But Dr M’membe said the logic of words should yield to the logic of realities.
“Toxic people defy logic. Some seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons,” he said. “But that is how they operate because they control and abuse all institutions of the State and government. The police and all other arms of the State are under their control and direction – they do as they please and get whatever they want. But human beings lose their logic in their vindictiveness.”
Dr M’membe narrated that in August 2016 “my house in Mwika Royal Village was attacked by Patriotic Front cadres and all the windows were smashed.”
“We replaced them. The police did nothing. Their talk was that after they win elections they will seize my house in the village and turn it into a hospital. This is the same language Mr Mosho is today speaking!” he said. “They control state and government institutions and can do as they please, including taking away all I own. But one thing they will not be able to do is take away my origins. I am a member of the Bemba Royal family. My great grandfather, the founder of Mwika Royal Village, was chief Nkula. And I am effectively today the leader of this village.”
Dr M’membe said there were many Bemba royals who belonged to the same village – including his majesty the current Chitimukulu.
“What will be their status after Mr Mosho and his political masters take control of this village? I have no title to any piece of land in this village because all village land is owned communally. We are all simply licensees of the Chitimukulu,” said Dr M’membe.
“I have no option but to take this matter to the highest Bemba Royal authorities for guidance. As for the other struggles being waged against me, I am more than ready for them. There’s no turning back. They know the wrongs they have done. It’s aluta continua! Victoria acerta!”