BREBNER Changala says Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja is being insubordinate to President Edgar Lungu by rebuking the Head of State in public.
On Monday, Kanganja banned political campaigns through the distribution of face masks.
This form of campaign was initiated by President Lungu when he first distributed face masks in Lusaka’s Mtendere and Bauleni compounds, an exercise that he has extended to other parts of the country.
Later, the opposition joined in their quest to also reach out to voters.
But Kanganja called for the arrest of anyone campaigning in that manner, claiming that they were breaking COVID-19 guidelines.
“It has been observed that some political party leaders have taken the route of deliberately abrogating the Electoral Code of Conduct and COVID-19 regulations under the guise of distributing face masks. They are using the activity to gather large crowds which are turning out to be processions or rallies,” said Kanganja in a statement. “I have therefore directed that no one should be allowed to conduct such activities including the receiving of political party leaders at airports or any other public place. It is on record that due to COVID-19, all gatherings and activities that may attract huge crowds were suspended by the Electoral Commission of Zambia working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health…From today onwards, I want to see total compliance to existing regulations, failure to which action shall be taken on officers failing to do their job according to regulations on COVID-19 and provisions of the law.”
Responding to Kanganja, Changala, a good governance activist, advised the police chief to rebuke his appointing authority privately.
“In short, that statement is meant for President Edgar Lungu and nobody else. This is insubordination. The man distributing the face masks, that is the appointing authority. And it also shows that the IG does realise that his boss is breaking the law,” he noted. “He should have said it to him privately. And it also shows the lawlessness that is in this country, that everything has fallen apart. The rule of law has fallen apart; that they cannot follow the regulations that they put up themselves.”
Changala however thanked Kanganja for realising that Covid was real, a situation that he said President Lungu did not realise.
“But it’s also good that the Inspector General of Police does realise that this Covid is real, whereas his appointing authority is taking everything for granted. He has been going round the country distributing masks and inspecting the so-called developmental projects while attracting huge crowds,” said Changala.