HOME Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo has boasted that he has ‘chopped off’ Dr Fred M’membe’s head by sending police officers to surround the latter’s private property in Mwika Royal Village.
A fortnight ago, police officers broke into Dr M’membe’s house at Mwika village in Chinsali district of Muchinga Province while he was addressing the Socialist Party’s maiden public rally in Kitwe.
A source who attended the meeting told The Mast that when he addressed a meeting at Longe village near Mwika in Nkulungwe area of Shiwangándu Constituency where he is also member of parliament, Kampyongo promised to turn Dr M’membe’s house into a hospital. Kampyongo claimed Dr M’membe was using the property as a staging ground for political party mobilization.
He claimed that Dr M’membe who is the Socialist Party’s 2021 presidential candidate owed the government about K53 million in taxes which he had failed to pay, following the liquidation of The Post.
The source explained that Kampyongo avoided the usual open road and instead used a bush track when entering the village.
‘’Na ba Kampyongo bene bali mumushi nabalonganika na bantu nabatekesha meeting, bali munomwine mwa Longe. (Mr Kampyongo is in the village, he has assembled people for a meeting right here in Longe village,’’ the source explained.
‘’E, kaili balelanda ati iyo M’membe wabo tapali ifyo ali, natumuputulo mutwe. Kanshi nomba tuleikata notutwine babomba nato. (He is saying that M’membe has become nothing, we have chopped off his head. We shall now arrest those he works with).”
The source further revealed that Kampyongo vowed never to allow Dr M’membe enter his native village and property again.
Asked how the public reaction was, the source said people were displeased with Kampyongo’s rantings on Friday evening.
‘’… Alelanda ati icikulwa natupoka, ba kapokola ukufuma mulya kano umuti ukambe ukwisa; cipatala. Elyo, 2, kuno takabale ukunyantako ulukasa. (He was saying that we have repossessed that building, those police officers will never leave that place until it’s stocked with medicine; it’s a hospital. Secondly, he [M’membe] will never set foot here,’’ narrated the source.
‘’Nkulungwe yena yonsefye apo yapelela taicisekelele, nabafililwe ukulya ubwali ilyo baumfwile ifyo nibambi. Panopene ubucushi nabwingila ku bantu, kubalebombako nabambi abalepokako shilyashine indalama; ako akwete nabambi baya shitishako. So, ubucushi nabutendeka sana. (The entire Nkulungwe area has not received this with joy. Some people even failed to eat after receiving this information. This is the beginning of poverty among people, those who were working [at M’membe’s property], and those that would benefit from that money through businesses… So, poverty has really befallen [people]).’’
On June 22, over 30 Muchinga police officers broke into Dr Fred M’membe’s Chinsali house bringing down all ornaments.
The motive for the action was not immediately known.
According to workers at the house, the officers arrived in three vehicles, one of them a Muchinga Police Land Cruiser, and jumped over the perimeter wall to gain access.
The workers said the officers broke the lock to Dr M’membe’s house to gain entry and started removing the curved ornaments.
“They have not arrested anyone. We don’t know what they are doing inside the house. They just came and chased us,” one of the security guards told The Mast. “They have grabbed household items including paintings. They are in uniforms but behaving like cadres. We’ve never seen such kind of behaviour.”
And last week, the Ichinga Royal Establishment of Nkula Chiefdom of Chinsali and Shiwang’andu districts revoked with immediate effect the appointment of Dr Mmembe as headman of Mwika village.
The statement delivered to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) by Ichinga Royal Establishment secretary Wilson Bwalya claimed that Dr M’membe breached one of the conditions, that a headman should not be involved in active politics.
This happened on Kampyongo’s second-day camping in his constituency.