INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has revealed that there is a growing tendency of political party cadres storming police stations with impunity.
In a statement on Sunday, Kanganja called on “all police officers to ensure that such criminal conduct comes to an end.”
Kanganja cited some incidences recorded in Lusaka and the Copperbelt provinces “where some cadres were seen protesting or causing confusion at police stations.”
“Another area of concern is the unending provocation, clashes and attacks happening at grave sites by these same political cadres,” he said.
“I want to warn all those who think they are above the law that being a law enforcement agency, the Zambia Police shall not sit and watch the unruly conduct of political party cadres take its toll.”
Kanganja said the tolerance which police officers have been exercising should not be taken for weakness.
“We shall not at any point tolerate any misconduct, thuggery behaviour, by anyone irrespective of their political affiliation and I am calling on all police officers to ensure that such criminal conduct comes to an end,” he said.
Kanganja reminded political party cadres that police stations were not playgrounds for them warning that any disrespectful conduct towards the police by any individual would be met with the full wrath of the law.
“Provisions of the police Act, criminalises any discreditable conduct at a police station and as such, any action by the police in this regard should not be taken as intimidation,” he said.
Kanganja said the role of the police was to ensure
that law and order prevailed hence anything to the contrary would not be entertained.
“There is need for all political players to sober up and adopt civil politics unlike the growing intolerance and thuggery witnessed in the recent past. Political leaders at different levels should play their role in sensitising their cadres on the need to tolerate each other as they conduct their political activities,” Kanganja advised.
He said it was possible for all political parties to carry out their activities peacefully and that such calls for personal and collective discipline and responsibility.
Kanganja said all should remember that attainment of a peaceful environment was a shared responsibility.
“I want to emphasise that it will not be business as usual as I have directed my officers to be firm on the ground and apply the law accordingly,” warned Kanganja.
Last year, the Police Service Commission fired four police officers for beating up PF cadres who stormed a police station in Sesheke in Western Province during a parliamentary by-election.