POLICE in Kapiri Mposhi on Thursday summoned and cautioned UPND officials for what they termed “conducting an illegal meeting.”
And the Zambia Police command in Kapiri Mposhi district has urged members of political parties to conduct their political activities within the confines of the law.
According to a police call dated June 10, 2020 that was issued to UPND Kapiri Mposhi district chairman Isaac Robby Chungwa, vice district secretary Kaiba Muleya and district youth chairman Sameman Hakalumbwe, the opposition party officials were summoned in connection with the constituency elections that they held on Wednesday at Blue House, which is the party’s district office.
The trio was in the Kapiri Mposhi officer commanding’s office at 10:45 hours and their meeting lasted for more than 30 minutes.
And speaking shortly before being ushered inside the police station, newly elected UPND Kapiri Mposhi Constituency chairman Davy Ngwelela lamented that democracy could not be guaranteed in a country where duty bearers were using the State Police to violate citizens’ fundamental rights.
“You cannot have democracy in a country where the ruling party, the government is continuously using the State Police to infringe and violate citizens’ rights, which include peaceful assembly by political players,” said Ngwelela.
And speaking during the meeting with Kapiri Mposhi district officer commanding Brighson Mwape, Hakalumbwe appealed to the police command to ensure that the law is fairly applied to all citizens regardless of their political affiliation.
Hakalumbwe said that there was need for police officers to discharge their duties with impartiality in order to restore public confidence in the Zambia Police Service.
“Thank you so much for you advice. But my appeal to you sir is that you should treat us fairly. The law should be applied fairly to all citizens regardless of their political affiliation. Your police officers should execute their duties with impartiality in order to win public confidence,” said Hakalumbwe.
And Mwape urged members of political parties to conduct their political activities within the confines of the law.
He said the police command in the area was committed to its mandate of maintaining law and order in the community.
He pointed out that failure by police officers to maintain law and order would render the Zambia Police Service irrelevant.
“As officer commanding for Kapiri Mposhi, Mkushi and Luano districts, I thought of summoning you so that we can discuss in this fashion. As convenors of that meeting you held somewhere in the district, I thought of addressing you so that we do not have confrontations in future. Where we are heading is tricky. And as political players, you are advised to always notify the Zambia Police command whenever you intend to hold a meeting. Ensure that you conduct your political activities or programmes within the confines of the law,” Mwape advised. “You have to notify us so that we provide security. The moment you conduct a meeting involving more than two people, be it at your office or at home, it amounts to illegal assembly.”
He further urged political players intending to convene meetings to adhere to health guidelines in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.