FORMER home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo says detained PF deputy national chairman Davies Chama is in strong spirits and ready to appear in court.
Addressing journalists at Lusaka’s Woodlands Police Station after visiting Chama who is in detention for attempted murder, Kampyongo said the development should not discourage PF supporters.
“We are concerned but we remain positive that these are matters that will come to pass. We are all not above the law and we are ready to face justice if there is something that the people of Zambia think we did wrong,” Kampyongo told reporters that had camped outside Woodlands Police Station. “And just to encourage our members that, yes, the acting chairperson honourable Davies Chama is in strong spirits. And we are happy to see him in such spirits. And we are encouraged that he’s looking forward to his day in court. But to you our members, remain steadfast and strong.”
Kampyongo together with PF deputy secretary general Nickson Chilangwa and leader of the opposition in the House Brian Mundubile had gone to Woodlands to visit detained Chama.
Chama is immediate past defence minister.
Yesterday police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga confirmed the detention.
“Police have apprehended and detained Mr Davies Chama aged 57 of New Kasama, former defence minister in the Patriotic Front government and Brain Dumisani Nyoni aged 47 of Matero compound Lusaka, a former diplomatic staff at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia for an alleged offence of attempted murder contrary to section 215 subsection(a) of CAP 87 of the laws of Zambia,” said Hamoonga. “It is alleged that the two persons on the 6th June, 2015 in Sichili of Mulobezi district of Republic of Zambia jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown did attempt to unlawfully cause the death of Mushaukwa Mushaukwa aged 47 of Shesheke. The two are currently in police custody.”
The duo has since been transferred to Sesheke.
Kampyongo said in a democracy such things were expected.
He however, vowed that the PF would not be trodden upon by anyone, further declaring that the party had enough members of parliament.
“This is a democracy that we have chosen for ourselves. We came from the opposition ourselves to form government and we are back in the opposition. So this is the democracy that we have chosen for ourselves,” Kampyongo said. “But we are not going to accept to be trodden upon and make us scared and get to abdicate our duties. We are privileged that even as much as we are out of government, we have got the right number of people’s representatives; in this case the MPs.”
Kampyongo warned that no one should abuse State power to disadvantage others.
He claimed that during his tenure he was aware of such temptation, which he avoided.
“…but, like my friend said, we are not going to be broken. We also lent that service to the State and keeping the nation safe. And we made sure that lawbreakers were dealt with through the same institutions; they are not personal, these are State institutions,” Kampyongo said. “And no one should attempt to think that when they have got an opportunity to serve the people they own [them]. I always spoke when I was minister of home affairs that it’s not possible to micromanage State institutions. I never did. And I don’t think the current Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security [Jack Mwiimbu] should. The portfolio functions are so many at the ministry.”
Kampyongo further said no one should create an impression that PF abused the police.
“But my emphasis is that we should not create an impression that there was a time when police couldn’t touch certain citizens, not even me as then minister of home affairs was above the law,” said Kampyongo. “If there was anything that was wrong, I should have been visited by the law even as I was sitting in the Ministry of Home Affairs. So, we are yet to see. But we can only encourage the Inspector General of Police [Lemmy Kajoba], we have got every belief that he will be professional and make sure that men and women in uniform under his charge equally conduct themselves professionally.”
Meanwhile, Chilangwa accused the government of forming a pattern just to arrest the former ruling party members.
“For us as Patriotic Front, we are very, very hopeful that the current happenings, the current arrests of our members – prominent members which has formed a certain pattern must be stopped. This pattern is not healthy, this pattern of doing things is not right because during campaigns or before that, are we telling the world and this country that it was only us in the Patriotic Front who were breaking the law?” he asked. “Is that possible that it was only Patriotic Front who were on the offensive? Really? Is that what President Hakainde [Hichilema] and Jack Mwiimbu are telling us? Is this vengeance, is this retribution? It’s not up to me to judge. The Zambians will judge for themselves where this will lead us.”
He also wondered if it was now a crime to own a gun for self-defence.
“I was telling colleagues yesterday I said, ‘I think it’s not worth it to own a gun anymore because we go out there and buy a gun and use it for protection when you are under siege,” Chilangwa said. “But it looks like immediately tables turn in terms of governance, that becomes a crime. Self-protection now becomes a crime. So, there are so many things we are yet to learn from the UPND government and how they want to run the affairs of this country.”
He accused the government of diverting people’s attention from what they had promised when they were in opposition.
Chilangwa described the current arrests as nonsense that will not cow PF members.
“But I just want to assure our people that as PF we shall remain steadfast. We shall remain focused. Our eyes remain on the ball because of one simple reason. The UPND promised the people of Zambia that they’ll change their lives. Mulekutika (are you listening)? 10:00 hours I’m voted into office, 14:00 hours things are happening. 10:00 hours I’m voted into the office, this is happening. Tulekutika (we’re listening) and we are still waiting, ukukutika (listening),” said Chilangwa. “And if you think by doing all these arrests and harassing us and all sorts of nonsense that you are going to silence us, I think you’ve got something coming. So, for me my message to UPND is that keep doing all that kind of nonsense that you have now focused on instead of delivering to the people of Zambia and you think you are fixing us, you’re fixing yourselves. What goes around comes around. That’s my message. Immediately you stepped a foot into State House, the next foot you’re going to step is to go out of State House. It happens. So, watch the space colleagues. We’re not daunted whatsoever. We’re not going to be cowed. We shall remain steadfast and we shall remain focused. We shall offer proper checks and balances to the UPND Alliance government.”