The Zambia Police Service is not applying double standards in the Mulobezi shooting incident in which a UPND cadre was shot, says Inspector-General Stella Libongani.
Ms Libongani said it was not correct to state that Police were applying double standards in the Mulobezi incident where a UPND cadre was shot after the opposition party and PF cadres clashed last week during a campaign trail.
In a statement, Ms Libongani said police officers were professionally trained and had the capacity to investigate any cases brought before them without undue influence or instructions from anyone.
Ms. Libongani warned that those abrogating the electoral code of conduct in the three parliamentary by-elections will be dealt with accordingly without bias because the police were there to maintain law and order and had the capacity to do so.
“The Zambia Police wishes to refute allegations by the Churches Association of Zambia that police officers are working under special instructions from the command.
“ We wish to state that Police officers are professionally trained and have the capacity to investigate any case that is brought before them without following any instructions,” Ms. Libongani said.
She said that following the Mulobezi by-election violence, police were on the ground investigating all those involved and allegations that the police were one-sided lacked merit.
“Arising from the shooting incident in Mulobezi on June 6, three cases of threatening violence, unlawful wounding and possession of offensive weapons or materials are currently under investigations. Additionally, two other cases of assault and destroying campaign materials are also being investigated,” she said.
She said that the police was looking forward to free and fair elections which were violence-free in the three constituencies and that the police command had deployed enough officers to ensure that the electoral code of conduct was respected.
She appealed to political parties to notify the police each time they felt threatened.
“It is our desire that these by-elections will be free of any further form of electoral violence. Therefore, we are appealing to all political parties and players taking part in these by-elections to abide by the provisions of the Public Order Act and consult the police or security personnel for guidance where they may not be clear or feel threatened.
“ We expect all political parties to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner and that we will receive maximum cooperation from all the stakeholders before, during and after the by-elections,” she said.
Ms. Libongani warned that the law will not spare anyone who will be found engaging it acts of violence because the police were capable of handling any volatile situation.