UPND deputy national chairman for youth affairs Munji Habeenzu has advised Minister of Home Affairs Steven Kampyongo to desist from using the police to fight his political battles. Habeenzu said Kampyongo, who is also Shiwang’andu member of parliament, has lost popularity in his constituency and has now resorted to intimidating his political opponents through violence.
“The United Party for National Development wishes to advise Shiwang’andu member of parliament Steven Kampyongo, who is also Minister of Home Affairs, to desist from using the police to fight his political battles. Mr. Kampyongo has lost popularity in his constituency and has now resorted to intimidating his political opponents by escalating political violence,” Habeenzu said.
Habeenzu further said apart from arresting UPND members, Kampyongo has also turned his anger on other opposition leaders he viewed as threats. He said Kampyongo was scheming to grab a house from Dr Fred M’membe and use it to turn the political tide against him by changing it into a clinic for the local people.
“While he portrays a picture that all is well in his constituency, the atmosphere in Shiwang’andu tells a different story. Apart from arresting UPND members, Kampyongo has also turned his anger on other opposition leaders he views as threats. Kampyongo has directed police to break in and surround Socialist Party president Fred Mmembe’s house at Mwika village in Chinsali because of his dwindling political fortunes in Shiwang’andu.”
Habeenzu said it was unbecoming for a constitutional office holder to use his position to fight citizens who have worked hard to accomplish what they have achieved.
“If Kampyongo really cares about the people of Chinsali, why doesn’t he build a clinic for them from the proceeds of the fire tenders transaction than relying on other people’s sweat?” Habeenzu wondered.
Habeenzu called on Kampyongo and his appointing authority to end the ongoing human rights violations in Shiwangandu. Further the UPND has called on influential donors to press for improved conditions to ensure credible elections take place.
“Acting on his instructions, the Patriotic Front supporters, and with police complicity, are now frustrating the UPND campaigns in the local government by-election in Mayembe ward of Shiwang’andu. On July 11, 2019, 16 members of our party, including the provincial chairperson for Northern Province, were attacked and arrested by police while on their way home after addressing a campaign meeting.”
Habeenzu further lamented that the police were indiscriminately arresting anyone associated with the UPND without bothering about the rule of law.
“Today, hundreds of our members are either in prison or appearing in court on tramped up charges. On Kampyongo’s orders, the police are indiscriminately arresting anyone associated with the UPND. They are arresting people just to harass and put pressure on the UPND members. At the instigation of Kampyongo, over 500 of our leaders and members have been implicated in ‘false and fabricated’ cases. The allegations are often broad and vague,” Habeenzu said.
He lamented that the law enforcement agencies appeared to work in direct support of the ruling PF’s political interests, and against its electoral opponents. Habeenzu noted that the protection that PF cadres possess from law enforcement officers was encouraging the cadres’ unlawful conduct.
“The purpose of these cases is to keep [the accused] away from the electoral process and scare others. The huge numbers of the people that attended the UPND meeting in Shiwang’andu was apparently perceived by Mr. Kampyongo as a challenge and threat to his authority and were targeted by the police as well as members of the ruling PF. We also wish to advise Zambia Police Service command that this Kampyongo they are receiving illegal orders from is a wavering flame that will not be there when they answer to the charge of failure to discharge their statutory functions judiciously and to act impartially in maintaining law and order.”