No sooner had the Government deployed soldiers in the riot- prone compounds of Lusaka than calm and peace returned.
This is not the first time we are seeing soldiers called to duty in such cases. In the late 90s, soldiers were called to reinforce the police to quench the riots sparked by Chizongwe Technical Secondary School pupils in Chipata.
So, what does this entail? It is either our police are ill-equipped or ill-trained, of which the Government needs to revisit the training syllabus left by our colonial masters to suit the current demands of service.
Or is the police is understaffed? Then the Home Affairs Ministry needs to emulate their Education counterparts by recruiting over 5,000 trainee police officers in the coming recruitment exercise.
Whatever the case, it appears gone are the days when one would grow cold feet just by a mere mention of the word police. Thieves no longer fear the police because they even have the audacity to steal from a policeman’s house in the police camps!
The only policemen thieves fear are those from C5. Not only that, students have no regard for the police as they have fought running battles with police even going to the extent of manhandling and disarming a police officer as was the case recently at Copperbelt University (CBU).
Taxi and mini bus drivers don’t fear the police because they are easily bribed, instead they dread officers from the no-nonsense RTSA.
Political party cadres can’t be left out in the race for they have fought the police at their own backyard, be it Woodlands or Lusaka Central.
So who fears our police? It is only the innocent citizens. As the nation draws near to the polls, will police contain the rising tempers among political cadres? I doubt. It is from this that I make a passionate appeal to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to seriously engage the services of the Zambia Army and Zambia National Services to be near polling stations especially those with more than two streams, as the police are always unarmed.