UPND president Hakainde Hichilema should not seek political capital out of the death of a citizen at the hands of criminals as the practice can jeopardise Police investigations, Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili has advised.
But Mr Hichilema has demanded that President Lungu and the Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani should immediately arrest suspected PF cadres who allegedly killed UPND member Grayzer Matapa in Munali Constituency.
Mr Kambwili said yesterday that allegations by Mr Hichilema that Government was shielding PF cadres behind the death of Mr. Matapa were untrue.
“The UPND is advised to desist from politicising this matter as doing so has potential to jeopardize investigations,” he said.
Mr Kambwili said the police should be allowed to professionally and thoroughly investigate the matter and bring to book people behind the act of criminality.
“This is a matter that Government condemns in the strongest terms and urges the police not to rest until perpetrators behind this lawless and barbaric act are brought to book,” he said.
Mr Kambwili said Government had a duty to protect life and property of its citizens and not shielding criminals, as alleged by UPND.
“It ought to be stressed that politics is not about barbarism and criminality. It is about providing leadership for the wellbeing of the people. Therefore, no one should hide behind politics to engage in acts of lawlessness,” he said.
But Mr Hichilema said President Lungu should be seen to be protecting the lives of Zambian citizens by condemning violence that is being perpetuated by PF.
He was speaking yesterday at a press briefing at the UPND’s secretariat.
Mr Hichilema said Mrs Libongani should step down if she cannot immediately arrest the suspected PF cadres who allegedly killed Mr Matapa.
In his letter to the President, Mr Hichilema said his party members have been denied the right to utilize public facilities such as markets and bus stations.
“Our members who own taxis and buses have been denied the right to use bus stations. Further, our members who operate from markets have been evicted,” he said. Mr Hichilema said after the declaration of Presidential election results, he had appealed to his members and supporters to remain calm and exercise restraint.
He said it would appear that the call for peace and stability had led to his members and supporters to be brutalized.
Meanwhile, Lusaka police commissioner Charity Katanga said the police was still investigating the death of Mr Matapa and that they will not work under pressure from anybody.
Ms Katanga said the police should be given chance to investigate cases in a professional manner without fear or favour.
“Even lawyers can agree with us, murder is not a small case, it requires enough time to carry out investigations.
But I can confirm to you that yesterday we managed to apprehend one suspect by the name of Mathews Lungu, he resides in Mtendere while other suspects ran away,” she said.
Ms Katanga said Police shall inform the nation when the suspects were apprehended and called on members of the general public to help identify suspects.