CHIRUNDU UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima says the Zambia Police Service must make amends with citizens.
He says the Zambia Police Service currently deems itself as an arm for the ruling party, and not for society.
Syakalima prayed that God: “… gives leverage to those people who have lost their loved ones at the hands of excited police officers who did extrajudicial killings on innocent citizens.”
He made the remarks when he debated the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Home Affairs, specifically to the Zambia Police Service, in Parliament on Tuesday.
Syakalima expressed fear that going by its marked polarisation today, the Zambia Police may not be a fall back institution for those in the PF when they lose executive power.
“We shouldn’t be protecting Zambia Police out of nothing. Zambia Police must be told that their image is a shattered image. The perception of most Zambians is that the Zambia Police have got no image at all to write home about. Once we start telling them that, they must change. It is for the good of the nation and the good of the Zambia Police itself,” Syakalima said.
“Zambia Police must make amends with the citizens. Zambia Police should start showing an image of peace; they must start showing an image of a police service which is likable by society.”
He told the House that he would continue to talk about the need to strengthen State institutions.
“Colleagues who are in government today, please make State institutions to be favourable for yourselves when you are out of power. State institutions, including Zambia Police, must be good enough for you as you leave office,” Syakalima said.
“[But] at the rate that they (State institutions) are going today, the way they treat members of the opposition, when you are in the opposition they will treat you the same way. They will teargas you, they will shoot at you. In the recent past, some of your colleagues who were that side (government side) and today are on our side, we are swallowing teargas together. This is what you (PF) have inadvertently told the Zambia Police, that the enemies are these opponents of ours.”
Syakalima proposed that the Zambia Police should be a community service institution.
“Their thinking now is that they are police for the ruling party, and not police for society. So immediately you get out of power, which you (the PF) are likely to do, they will behave the same way to hurt an opponent, because you will be opponents yourselves,” he said.
“So let us build a better society together. Let Zambia Police be a community service institution. Minister of Home Affairs (Stephen Kampyongo), we must introduce community policing at Lilayi Police College so that our men and women in uniform learn how to police in the communities, not where Zambians feel ‘there comes an enemy’.”
The lawmaker regretted that the Zambia Police Service had killed innocent people.
“I pray that God Who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient may God leverage to those people lost their loved ones at the hands of excited police officers who did extrajudicial killings on innocent citizens,” debated Syakalima.
“We had a better Zambia than we have today, we still can have a better Zambia and we still long for a better Zambia tomorrow. Let’s build State institutions that will build society.”