LEAVE the youths alone, work on the issues they have raised, NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has told the government.
Kambwili said the youths, who conducted a peaceful protest on Monday, June 22 have not committed any offence and that police officers in Zambia were not authorised under the Public Order Act to issue permits for demonstrations and public rallies.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the police indicated that they were studying the protest videos by the youths who went against the orders of the police in conducting a protest, in order to find a suitable charge for them.
The statement issued by the police has however been received as a shock by Kambwili.
“I woke up to a very rude shock when I checked the newspapers (Wednesday); wonders will never cease. The police are saying they are investigating where these youths did their demonstration and they may be arresting them because they did not have a permit! What a way to think! I think my sister Katongo (Esther) is drunk with unknown powers, swimming in wrong waters and abrogating the Constitution with impunity,” Kambwili said.
“The public order Act is very clear, crystal clear; police are not supposed to give permits, they are not by law defined to give permits for demonstration or public rallies, they are only supposed to receive notification.”
Kambwili wondered what charge the police would levy the youths with since they were given a seven-day notice prior to the protest.
“Look, the same police arrested Laura Miti and Chama Fumba (Pilato), the court ruled that they fulfilled the requirement of the law, they notified the police. Again they (police) want to make the same mistake! This is abuse of authority and abuse of state resources. When they arrest those people and bring them to court, there are government resources being spent on a matter that they know there is no criminal offence,” Kambwili said.
“This waste of time must come to an end, there is no reason to even contemplate or investigate, even investigation is a cost. They are spending money on a case that they Know is neither here nor there. Can the police behave, there is no case that these youths have whether they came on the road, whether they were at Manda Hill, wherever they were, they have not committed an offence, they fulfilled the requirement of the law.”
Kambwili reminded the police that they do not have power under the Public order Act to issue permits.
He urged the Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to act professionally and order his officer to stop investigating the matter because it was “neither here nor there”.
“Leave the youths alone, work on the issues that they have raised as government. What is the problem of working on the issues that the youths have raised?” Kambwili asked.
“And that day we spent a lot of taxpayers’ money on fuel and allowances for police officers for people who had not committed an offence; what a government!”
Kambwili charged that police officers in Zambia were an embarrassment, and he urged them to emulate Malawian police officers in upholding professional standards.
“According to the videos that have gone viral, police in Malawi were arresting ruling party cadres during the elections but here (Zambia) police officers cannot arrest ruling party cadres,” Kambwili noted.
“Bowman Lusambo had a meeting at his house in Ndola, Makebi Zulu had a meeting with cadres in Chipata, where is the permit? Davis Mwila is going round all the Copperbelt towns having meetings with the structures of PF, where is the permit? Meetings of a political nature have been suspended but the PF is going round doing the same thing, why is the police not arresting them? They are even escorting them to the meetings, what an embarrassment of the police that we have!”
Kambwili noted that the Patriotic Front was creating a difficult situation for themselves in the political arena by intimidating the citizenry.
“Learn from what has happened in Malawi, the opposition leader is leading because of intimidating people, because of tyranny and being undemocratic. These people in government must learn from what has happened in Malawi and we only have 14 months to go before the election and they continue behaving like this. They are making it difficult for themselves, Wina azalila (someone will shed tears) in 2021,” said Kambwili.
“Political power is temporary, power is sweet but it must be checked. When you are in government, you think that time for you will never come, no, it will come. My appeal to those in government; please for once, towards elections, start behaving. Leave the youths alone, they have not committed any offence.”