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We’ll deal with political violence head on – Kampyongo

HOME affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo says people should not break the law and expect not to be noticed.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Kampyongo said all those that attacked police officers in Muchinga Province recently would be arrested.

PF has accused UPND members that had accompanied their party leader Hakainde Hichilema to Kasama last week of having attacked some police officers and civilians.

“You don’t break the law and expect that we are going to play blind eye and ear; it won’t happen. Democracy is anchored on the rule of law. Otherwise, we could have said the strongest must be the only ones to participate in democracy. So, the assurance to the people of Zambia is that we are going to deal with these matters of political violence head on. And I mean head on,” he said. “I don’t have the list of people that have been summoned…So those that have been called, would have to go in a manner that befits someone who is being summoned by the police. Anything other than that will be dealt with under the confines of the law and that is my assurance.”

Kampyongo claimed that the attacked police officers were latter abducted and dropped somewhere 20 kilometres away from point of abduction.

He further claimed that the attackers were armed with various weapons.

“Dear colleagues, besides the two officers, five other people including a civil servant, an agriculture extension officer, a veterinary officer and three community members who stood by the roadside were also attacked by this militia group and sustained serious injuries and multiple cuts,” Kampyongo claimed. “In addition to the seven casualties recorded, the UPND militia group also stole property which included a Lenovo Laptop, black wallet, a shaving machine, cell phones and cash money amounting to K2,400. All the stolen items were valued at approximately K10,000. Furthermore, one residential house had a spare bedroom and kitchen window, glass pane, deliberately damaged.”

He warned opposition party leaders against predicting bloodshed towards next year’s elections, saying
“elections are not a new phenomenon to Zambians who have always endeavoured to remain peaceful after every election.”

“I also want to say that government is aware of some schemes of political parties wanting to dare government… And when government acts, they want to cry victims and claim that the democratic space is being shrunk. We are equally aware that one political leader was recently in East Africa where he went to solicit for funds from their collaborators who have also encouraged them to engage in lawless activities,” said Kampyongo. “We are not going to allow people to trade off the sovereignty of this country for a piece of silver. We shall not sit and watch foreign interests to come and disturb the peace that this country has enjoyed. And I wish to remind the opposition political leaders to revive their role of offering checks and balances….”

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