By Nation Reporter
THE Police Service is not an appendage of the Patriotic Front (PF) and therefore, it is wrong for the ruling party to issue an incorrect statement on behalf of the security wing that they were attacked by the UPND cadres when they were the ones shot at, leading to a loss of life, Edward Mumbi has charged.
And Mr Mumbi, who is UPND presidential spokesperson, has said Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Eric Chimense should restrain himself from making political statements because the country was in a tense political situation.
Meanwhile, Mr Mumbi has said the cancellation of campaigns in Lusaka and Namwala by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) was not the solution to the escalating political violence in the country.
Mr Mumbi said it was surprising that PF secretary general Davies Chama had issued a statement alleging that UPND cadres had fired gun shots and other offensive weapons at police officers on Friday when the police had not complained about being attacked.
He said the Zambia Police had issued a statement and at no time did the Inspector General of Police Kanganja Kakoma indicated that the UPND cadres fired gun shots at the police.
Mr Mumbi said the statement by Mr Chama was an indication that the Zambia Police was under the direct command of the PF.
He said the UPND and its leader Hakainde Hichilema had always been preaching peace and decent political discourse because he (Hichilema) did not want to take the governance of a country that was politically assaulted.
Mr Mumbi said the killing of political party cadres was not new as both the PF and the UPND have had their members killed, a situation he said should not be allowed to continue.
“Mr Chama is being politically naïve to accuse the UPND of having attacked police officers on Friday. How could it have been possible for only 100 youths to attack and shoot at more than 300 heavily armed police officers?
‘‘The Zambia Police is not a branch of the PF for Mr Chama to issue a statement on its behalf and as a matter of fact, the police command has not said they were shot at by UPND cadres and that they are investigating the issue to find out who shot the UPND cadres,” Mr Mumbi said.
He said in a tense political period such as the one Zambia was going through, it was important for political leaders to guard their statements to avoid plunging the country into chaos.
And Mr Mumbi said there had never been a time in the history of the country when a ZAF Commander had ever involved himself in the politics of the country.
Mr Mumbi accused ZAF Commander Chimense of playing politics by denying the UPND leaders flying airspace so that the opposition political party campaign programme could be derailed.
“Lieutenant General Chimense is interfering with the politics of the country and it is dangerous to involve men and women in uniform into politics. Politics is not his jurisdiction and he must concentrate on the security of the country,” Mr Mumbi said.