THE Socialist Party is saddened that those in the PF government have massive resentment for Dr Fred M’membe to an extent that their fear for him makes them oblivious to the fact that he has a right to life. Dr Musumali has demanded those who have illegally occupied Dr M’membe’s residence in Mwika village to immediately exit adding that the PF government of President Edgar Lungu “is driving us to limits and this is unacceptable.”
Socialist Party general secretary Dr Cosmas Musumali says the governing PF is marginalising itself with its “uncouth behaviour” towards political opponents.
He adds that all fingers concerning ill-treatment of Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate, Dr M’membe, points to President Edgar Lungu.
Dr Musumali, however, cautions that the anger of the masses can be toxic.
Over 30 Muchinga police officers broke into Dr M’membe’s Shiwang’andu house, bringing down all ornaments, on Saturday.
“About 30 uniformed people in full riot gear, and most of them with their faces covered to avoid recognition, did raid his home in Mwika village. The group arrived in three vehicles with registration numbers ALD 6378, ZP 7313 and ZP 24988,” Dr Musumali told journalists at the Socialist Party secretariat in Lusaka yesterday.
“Onlookers identified the vehicles as belonging to Muchinga Police. The group jumped over the perimeter fence, destroyed the gate to access the main house. The group went on rampage; cows that were in the kraal were set loose and driven out towards the open plains. Food in the house was taken, cooked and eaten. Oh yes, a duck was slaughtered.”
He explained that at 19:00 hours on Saturday, the Socialist Party decided to dispatch: “four comrades to go and investigate and give us more details, in terms of the reasons and the safety of everyone else who was there.”
“The four were Andrew Kapasa Kalulu, who is the Socialist Party coordinator for Muchinga Province, Andrew Kapaya who is our project manager and has been doing works in Mwika Royal Village, comrade Nkosi Lizwi who is the personal driver attached to Dr M’membe by the Socialist Party and the fourth one is comrade Kapyanga who is a former councillor for Ichinga ward in Chinsali Central Constituency and a Socialist Party member,” Dr Musumali explained.
He then shared the quartet’s findings.
Dr Musumali highlighted that the team arrived at the premises around 15:10 hours on Sunday and we found that the front gate was locked and that there was no presence of any police officer.
He narrated that the team hooted for five minutes before a uniformed police officer, in the presence of three plain-clothed police officers, two holding AK 47s, came out of the premises to the gate.
The police officers, according to Dr Musumali, told the four Socialist Party personnel that they were under instructions not to allow any person to enter the premises and that they were forbidden from saying anything, apart from guarding the property.
“The house is guarded by four police officers who denied entry to our team…..” he said.
“We have tried to find out what could be the cause of this action and we can’t find any. The truth is we don’t know; it doesn’t make sense legally. But we realise [that] maybe we are looking in the wrong direction; this is not a legal issue [but] a political issue.”
He stressed that the raiding of Dr M’membe’s home was centred on politics and that it had implications.
“The house that we are talking about has just undergone significant improvement. There is furniture, curtains, beddings, household equipment. It’s a fully functional home. We cannot, at this time, ascertain the full extent of the damage to the house,” Dr Musumali explained.
“The uncouth behaviour exhibited by the group that raided the house does not give much hope. This is the second time the house is being vandalised; the first time was about two years when PF cadres attacked that house. We do not expect any justice even this time.”
Dr Musumali lamented that lawlessness and impunity had become the order of the day and that it was worse to any issue related to Dr M’membe.
“Those in authority today hate him with passion! Their unfounded fear of him makes them oblivious to the fact that he is a fellow human being who has the right to life and a citizen who also ought to enjoy the constitutional guaranteed freedoms,” Dr Musumali observed, further disapproving the never-ending vendetta aimed at humiliating and destroying Dr M’membe
“The second consequence is the growing anger and resentment of the community. Dr Fred M’membe is a village headman and respected by many….”
Dr Musumali said if it was about The Post liquidation, there were ways of going about it but that: “those ways have not been followed.”
He added that Dr M’membe owned more high value properties that those who were pursuing him could take over.
“He has a home here in Nangwenya road. It’s more high value; why can’t they take it? Why go to the village where there is no title deed? The issue is that SP (Socialist Party) has grown in Muchinga; it’s becoming a threat in Shiwang’andu and Chinsali,” Dr Musumali said.
“But with that anger of the people, the PF is marginalising itself. They are giving Socialist Party sounding victory two years ahead of time. But if the rising community anger is not moderated by changing behaviour in that constituency, I would say it will be a miracle if the PF retains the Shiwang’andu Constituency seat in 2021.”
He noted that the PF government’s “arrogance and unwarranted attacks” on Dr M’membe’s home were contributing to their downfall in Muchinga Province.
“The anger of the masses can be toxic – Mwika Village and Muchinga Province, in general, have to remain peaceful. Our people are already enduring enough suffering and pain in their daily lives. There is no need whatsoever to push them to the limits,” Dr Musumali cautioned.
“More than ever before, all fingers are pointing to President Lungu. Previously, there were moments when we thought the lawlessness in Shiwang’andu was due to random actions of highly indisciplined elements in the PF led by the constituency member of parliament Mr [Stephen] Kampyongo.”
He further observed that there was an emerging pattern of using naked violence, intimidation and impunity countrywide.
Dr Musumali pointed out that the obvious and very systematic attempts to destroy Dr M’membe were not without the knowledge and: “maybe even the blessing of President Lungu.”
“It will, therefore, take only President Lungu himself to stop the mess and the anarchy. In life, at times you have to sit back and listen [but] we don’t see those in authority today doing that. They are drunk with power! As I said, anything to do with Dr M’membe there is always lawlessness in it,” Dr Musumali noted.
“The fear of the Dr Fred M’membe is driving them to undertake actions that at the end of the day they will regret. We are watching and the country is watching. You are in power today [but] it’s not forever; power ends but Zambia will still be there. Whatever you do is being documented, disseminated. Those in authority be wise and serve this country. But you are not being wise and you are not serving this country – you are driving us to limits and this is unacceptable.”
He demanded that those who have illegally occupied Dr M’membe’s residence immediately exit.
Meanwhile, Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation) provisional liquidator, Lewis Chisanga Mosho has asked the Zambia Police to protect and investigate property suspected to have been acquired from proceeds of crime belonging to Dr M’membe in Shiwang’andu.
The property in question is located in Mwika village of sub-chief Mwaba Wankulungwe in senior chief Nkula.
Police have since sealed off the property.
Muchinga Province police commissioner Joel Njase confirmed the development to ZANIS in Chinsali yesterday.
According to a press statement, Njase said the liquidators for The Post Newspapers (in liquidation), have requested Zambia Police in a letter dated June 19, 2019, “to protect and investigate, property suspected to be obtained or acquired from proceeds of crimes “located in Mwika village.
He said the police was constitutionally mandated, under Article 193 sub-Article 2, to protect life and property, among other functions.
Njase said the request by Mosho was in line with the mandate of the Zambia Police and that as police, they were mindful that Mosho was alleging and hence the need also to respect the suspect, Dr M’membe.
He pledged that police would remain professional and hope that both Mosho and Dr M’membe would cooperate with the investigations team by availing all necessary documents to prove otherwise.
On December 20 last year, Mosho placed a caveat over a piece of land allocated to Dr M’membe in Mwika village.
The caveat was placed following a judgment delivered On December 11, 2018 by the Constitutional Court that awarded costs to The Post Newspapers (liquidation) against Dr M’membe.
As part of security for recovery of such costs, The Post Newspapers (in liquidation) had registered its interest over the land allocated to Dr M’membe in Mwika village in senior chief Nkula’s area in Chinsali district of Muchinga Province.