It is shocking and worrying that police are reluctant to deal with PF vigilantes who have injured and maimed opposition members with some of them still lying critically in bed despite medical attention, former Zambia’s ambassador to Japan Joe Mwale has said.
And Mr Mwale has observed that acts of violence by PF vigilantes have reached unprecedented levels and demanded an explanation from PF leaders and the police on why action was not being taken against the violent vigilantes.
A UPND cadre was recently operated on at UTH after being assaulted by PF cadres and is now lying critically in bed at his house in Kanyama as his condition worsens and barely four days ago, MMD die hard youth chairman Bowman Lusambo was assaulted by PF vigilantes using guns, machetes and other weapons but police have not reacted.
Mr Mwale said that harassment of the opponents with an assortment of weapons by PF vigilantes should be roundly condemned by all who meant well for Zambia.
“You can imagine if that violence were perpetrated by the opposition, you could see what was going to happen. Statements could have released even by the church people who are supposed to stand for the voiceless, see now they are quiet and failing to condemn t it,” he said.
“These are straight forward cases that must be dealt with without showing any favour, because it is the duty of the police to ensure all citizens are protected. And this is a source of worry and we don’t know why the police are trying to drag on the matter when they already know the culprits,” he said.
And opposition members said it was unfair that the police seemed to be applying selective justice each time there were issues to do with opposition party members.
UPND Copperbelt provincial chairman Elisha Matambo wondered why police had not yet arrested the PF vigilantes that assaulted Mr Lusambo.
He said it was not fair that opposition members should be arrested immediately if they committed an offence while the PF members were left scot free.
He said it was an infringement on the rights of the MMD members and police officers should not allow such lawlessness to take place and appealed to them to immediately arrest PF vigilantes involved in the assaulting MMD members. “We as UPND on the Copperbelt are challenging the Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani and her command to effect the law on the PF thugs. How do you the block people that were not disturbing their business,
“Can Stella Libongani explain to Zambians if it was wrong for Dr Nevers Mumba and his team to visit Kanyama MMD officials? Does the law in this country favour the PF now that they are in power? We demand that they start acting professionally because these are type of situations that lead to chaos,” he said.
He said the behaviour of PF vigilantes was a clear indication that the party members were violent and that the reports about the human rights abuses were true.
And when contacted MMD’s die hard youth leader Bowman Lusambo said he had taken the medical report to Central Police where a docket had been open. Mr Lusambo said the officer handling the case assured him that they would let the law take its course.
And the Gallant Youth in Zambia (GYZ) director Henry Mulenga said it was sad that innocent journalists faced intimidation as they discharged their duties. Mr Mulenga said it was for this reason the people of Zambia had lost confidence in the police because they had never exhibited professionalism whenever they were dealing with issues involving PF.
He appealed to the PF government to seriously address the issue of harassment of journalists by party thugs as such behaviour was likely to break the relationship and respect between the media and politicians.
“The law must visit them without fail, because harassing journalists could not be tolerable.
The PF government is where they are because of the same journalists,’ he said.
Suspected PF vigilantes pounced on MMD Die Hard leader Lusambo and forced him to apologise in their presence, while holding machetes with them.
They did the same to journalists who were covering the event.