INSPECTOR General of Police Stella Libongani has warned former Lubansenshi member of Parliament Patrick Mucheleka, who has alleged that police officers want change of Government in 2016, that the Zambia Police Service will not tolerate statements that are aimed at tarnishing its image
She has also warned Forum for Democracy and Development president Edith Nawakwi to desist from making statements linking the police to politics.
“Politicians such as the former Independent member of Parliament for Lubansenshi constituency Mr Patrick Mucheleka and Forum for Democracy and Development president, Ms Edith Nawakwi should not be making statements linking the police to politics. Equally, the press should desist from reporting unconfirmed reports which could have potential to influence the security of this country negatively,” Ms Libongani said.
She said politicians should not be politicising the operations of the police.
Mr. Mucheleka was yesterday quoted as saying that President Edgar Lungu will not manage to use the police to kill dissenting views in the country because police officers wanted change of political leadership.
But Ms Libongani described Mr Mucheleka’s statement as aimed at tarnishing the image of the Police.
“As Police Command, we would like to correct the wrong impression and unfounded statement reported in today’s (yesterday’s) post newspaper Edition number 6870 under the Headline
“Police Officers, like everyone else, want political leadership change in 2016 – Mucheleka.”
”I would like to state that police officers individually and collectively as a department are not politicians therefore, will not tolerate people creating an impression that the Zambia Police is political,” Ms. Libongani said.
She explained that the mandate of the police was to provide security in the country and protect the interest of all the people.
“Our mandate is to ensure the provision of utmost security which is critical at times like this one when we have elections. Our main duties among others are to save life and protect property in the interest of all people of the country and the state at large.
Ms Libongani observed that statements such as the one issued by Mr. Mucheleka to the Post newspaper were an affront to the professionalism of the police service, adding that police officers needed to be professional in the discharge of their duty.
“Statements like the one in the Post Newspaper are an affront to our professional stance and therefore we would like to take this opportunity to remind our Police officers to remain professional and not to be swayed into political biasness but to concentrate on fighting crime and lawlessness in the country,” she said.
The Inspector General of Police called upon the press to desist from publishing information that had the potential to compromise the security of the country by verifying whether the statements before publishing it.