Police will not allow pre-mature election campaign and UPND leader Hichilema Hichilema should understand that the election campaign period has not yet been announced, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has said.
Mr Kanganja was reacting to a statement by Mr Hichilema that he would visit the Inspector General of Police to clarify if there was a difference in the law that was applied to President Edgar Lungu and the UPND leadership.
Mr Hichilema claimed that the police had stopped some of his meetings and movements while President Lungu was let free to tour the country.
But Mr Kanganja said since the Electoral Commission of Zambia has not yet announced the campaign period, the Police would not allow some of the meetings for the UPND and other political parties.
Mr Kanganja urged Mr Hichilema to wait for the campaign period to be announced before he could be allowed to hold meetings as he wished.
‘‘Mr Hichilema should note that he has to wait for the campaign period to kick off before he begins any campaign meetings anywhere in the country; he should also know that it is not just him who is subjected to such but all parties,’’ he said.
Mr Kanganja also said there was no difference in the law applied to the President and any other Zambian as alleged by Mr Hichilema, adding that all Zambians were subjected to the same law.
He said the head of State whom Mr Hichilema thought was favoured by the law was below the law like any other Zambian citizen.
‘‘The law that is applied to every Zambian citizen is the same everywhere; even the President is subject to act within the same law; there is nothing like different laws governing different people,’’ Mr Kanganja explained.
He however said Mr Hichilema was welcome to visit him over his grievances in relation to his freedom of movement which he claimed was being violated.
Mr Kanganja said the doors to his office were open to Mr Hichilema as the Zambian law was for everyone including himself.
‘‘Let Mr HH come, he should know that the doors to my office are open for him as the law we have in Zambia is for all the citizens of the country including him,’’ he said.
Mr Kanganja said the Zambian law was meant to protect everyone without any segregation or discrimination.
He added that issues such as the Public Order Act were introduced for the benefit of all countrymen and women regardless of their political affiliation.
‘‘The law is meant to protect everyone; Acts such as the Public Order Act were introduced for everyone to benefit from them,’’ Mr Kanganja said.
He however said he was looking forward to Mr Hichilema’s visit and was ready to address all his concerns and complaints against him and the Police service.