The diligence with which police have worked to arrest State house special assistant Kaizer Zulu is indeed commendable.
However it leaves a very sour taste.
We hope, in the same spirit, the police will this time around exhibit and demonstrate equal diligence in determining the veracity of the disputed ”Brian Hapunda” recording that has made serious charges against senior state house staff.
That recording if false falls in the continuing genre of recordings that are intended to undermine and tarnish Government image.
Hapunda has issued a statement c repudiating the record as a complete fabrication. Fortunately with modern technology this matter should be resolved very quickly because it has serious civil and criminal consequences if proved one way or the other.
It is our hope that with the same spirit of diligence that the police will now expedite the prosecution of theft of documents from state house, ACC offices, Ministry of Finance and others that have been published in contumelious disregard of the law.
There is no doubt that the documents were stolen from state house and cabinet office, which documents were published but the culprits have never been brought to book.
This is double standards and totally unacceptable.
The impression being created that Police will move swiftly in some cases where political figures are involved and then drag their feet when serious matters concerning the state are committed by individuals who consider themselves above the law is most disconcerting.
Why should a pub brawl take precedence over theft of a secret Government document?
The most recent document to be stolen was the speech by President Edgar Lungu. By all accounts it was stolen two days before delivery. This is against journalistic norms and standards. Ethics demand propriety and it is common sense that you cannot publish a speech that has not yet been delivered.
Ordinarily a preview involves mere mention of the salient points that are likely to form the basis of a speech. This is not the same as reproducing a speech that you as a journalist know is stolen and is subject to various editorial and content changes, and which may indeed contain policy statement that may have far reaching social, economic and political consequences.
A speech containing policy measures on the currency for example would create instability and a run before effective mitigation measures are implemented.
The police must therefore justify why cases of theft have been allowed to pend and in some cases simply disappear with the efflux ion of time while a bar room brawl has elicited speedy arrest and intentions to prosecute before a court of law.
It is a fact that some cases concerning theft of documents have gone to court and no steps seem to have been taken by the police to pursue the matters to their logical conclusion
This situation begs the question and reinforces a concern that there are sections of the community that can break the law with impunity and get away with it because police are compromised and are therefore unable to act.
Already parliament has been seized with the publication of a stolen speech.
This was published in full view of the entire nation and there is no question of verifying the matter. There is no doubt about the publication.
Why then is there inertia to act. Why were police quick to pick up other journalists, force them into cells overnight and to prosecute a matter which the courts finally determine as unconstitutional, but the same police fail to act on a criminal matter?
We have always insisted that the law must be applied equitably. There must be justice for all and equal treatment for all.
There should be no sacred cows and public officers charged with the task of enforcing the law must do so with impartiality.