PATRIOTIC Front cadres have no right to lock up offices of public service workers, whatever the administrative offence.
They equally do not have the right to interfere in the operation of private entities.
The public and private workers have their own reporting structures which have inbuilt systems when it comes to matters of discipline.
If the offence is so grave and requires outside remedial measures, law enforcement agencies are normally called in to restore order.
We are saddened that the Patriotic Front in Kazungula yesterday took the law in their own hands and locked up offices at Kazungula District Council to express their displeasure at perceived wrong-doing by the council secretary.
The PF cadres organised themselves as early as 05:00 hrs and did the unthinkable.
If the cadres have noticed the commission of a crime or maladministration, they have the right to use their party structures to get to the appointing authorities who would investigate matters and raise the appropriate charge when an officer is found wanting.
The suspected wrongdoer is always given the right to answer charges and then a formal disciplinary hearing is held.
When found guilty or liable appropriate measures are put in place to deter other would be wrongdoers from causing further damage to the institution.
If suspected wrongdoers are found innocent, they are always set free.
This is what is called “rules of natural justice”.
A public officer cannot just be bundled out of an office by anyone and told to go home permanently.
The PF cadres should start paying attention to the pronouncements of their leaders.
Only yesterday, President Edgar Lungu said he would follow the law in the discharge of his duties.
He said he would not interfere in matters that do not require his express powers.
This is as it should be in a democracy such as Zambia.
If they are cadres who are suffering from the brutal force of pre-Edgar Lungu era, then they should read the signs.
Zambians cannot allow a culture of lawlessness to prevail as the consequences are too grave to contemplate.
Those who are unfairly dismissed normally seek the court intervention and when they win their cases, it is the very public funds that are used to compensate them as complainants
Instead of using the public funds on social amenities, the money goes into the pockets of the offices who were wrongly dismissed.
Therefore, we are appealing to PF cadres to find civil means of dealing with public officers who are outside their party’s structures.