If there were any lingering doubts about the politicization of the police these have now been laid to rest.
Two magistrates, one in Kasama and the other in Lusaka, handling PF related violence matters have been forced to recuse themselves because of political pressure and the failure of witnesses to attend court, because they have been intimidated. In normal circumstances an appeal would have been made to the police to enforce specific observances but it is now futile because the police will look the other way as crimes are committed. This is a very dangerous development
Yesterday in full national view, in front of Television cameras, Patriotic Front cadres, yesterday displayed two of their brutalized colleagues and challenged the Police to arrest the perpetrators, of the violence whom they named.
That is not all they revealed the master mind behind the fracas at the BIGOCA church where clergymen including well respected Bishop John Mambo were assaulted.
They also revealed other incidents which Police have never explained.
These revelations point to a systematic campaign by the police to cover up very heinous crimes that have been committed in breach of peace, security and more importantly the rule of law. We refuse and reject the notion that police intelligence does not know the people behind the death of the two PF cadres that have died in mysterious circumstances.
We equally refuse the notion that police do not know the people behind the machete crusade.
The people behind all these things are well known and we believe that action has not been taken because of political connections, which connections are undermining the rule of law. We hope those responsible for this impasse are mindful enough to take a broader view of the impact that such deliberate malfeance and selective prosecution can create as evidenced by some of our increasing number of failing states in Africa.
Differences start from seemingly minor incidents and quickly degenerate into schisms that are widespread and therefore more difficult to control and contain.
It is one thing to send a heavily armed platoon of officers to harass, assault and generally manhandle peaceful and unarmed political members and another to investigate where real crimes have been committed and then abdicate responsibility by failing to prosecute those responsible.
The police command must be very clear that Zambians are watching this situation and there is growing anger at the obvious bias police are showing in the manner they are handling incidences that ordinarily amount to a breach of the peace.
We have said before and would like to repeat that political power is ephemeral and transient. At some point those holding instruments of power today will stand accountable for their actions and no defence will be found in pleading a call of duty.
It is indeed amazing that some officers were yesterday heard to publicly declare that they had been instructed to beat up the UPND cadres. And that is why in the ensuing melee even a member of parliament was brutalized.
Unfortunately a journalist was also injured by uncompromising police who seemed determined to inflict maximum pain and damage. That display of violence by the police was uncalled for and unnecessary and anywhere else the people responsible would have been called to account.