HOME affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo claims he does not sleep easily, just to ensure Zambians are secure.
He also says he is happy with the ‘professionalism’ of Zambia Police.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo, who is Shiwang’andu PF member of parliament, says he wants to leave a legacy of dignifying police officers.
He was speaking on The Assignment programme on Muvi TV on Thursday night.
Programme host, Andrew Mwansa, asked an irritated Kampyongo how he found it easy to sleep knowing that the Zambia Police killed Frank Mugala on February 13 this year, Vespers Shimunzhila in October 2018 and others have died out of police brutality or negligence.
The minister, with conceit, responded: “how do I find what? I wish you could have re-phrased it well.”
“But I will answer you in this fashion, that as minister responsible for home affairs, which overseas police, I don’t find it easy [to sleep] because I have to make sure that you are safe,” Kampyongo claimed.
“So, I don’t sleep easily, for you (interviewer) to be safe. When you talk about the losses of those lives, you also must know that the procedures that are put in place, where excesses are used, are evoked. There was an inquiry; you were just referring to the university incidence [sic]. There was inquiry and the recommendations have been done.”
He explained that in all cases where police officers were faulted for using excessive force against a citizen, “we collaborate very well with the Human Rights Commission.”
“They do an oversight function in terms of investigations. And they forward recommendations to the Ministry [of Home Affairs] and we act on those recommendations,” he noted.
Kampyongo further pointed out that maintaining law, order and peace was a mammoth task everywhere in the world.
“Public/police tensions are always out there in the world. Why is there police if we human beings were living like angels?” he said, adding that police officers were not holier but mere human beings.
Reminded that police officers were seemingly scared of PF cadres, Kampyongo said: “you are saying the police are scared of who?”
He noted that the fact that he was home affairs minister did not mean that he micro-managed the operations of Zambia Police.
“Zambia Police is an institution with command structures from top to bottom. Even where you saw the (UPND) vehicles pass there [in Serenje], the Zambia Police command at that point were in charge,” Kampyongo said.
Asked whether or not he was happy with the ‘professionalism’ being exhibited by the Zambia Police Service, Kampyongo answered that; “I’m content with it. I’m content!”
Meanwhile, Kampyongo, on the kind of legacy he would want to leave, said he would like Zambians to remember him as a citizen who had an opportunity to serve the nation in the capacity he is serving.
[As someone] who wanted to see things different, not doing business as usual; who wanted to leave a legacy of bringing dignity to his men and women in uniform, who have been looked down upon in the past,” wished Kampyongo.
“Uniform was an issue for a police officer who is saving your life and my life. [There was] no decent accommodation….”