The PF leadership is abusing the police and intelligence personnel of this country with impunity. It is shocking and disgusting to witness this rapid decay in professional conduct amongst our senior officers over the past 12 months. At this pace, a new government after the 2016 general elections will need to totally rebuild these key state institutions. These institutions are quickly becoming irrelevant to the needs and interests of the Zambian masses. In essence, they are becoming a liability.
Stopping the Rainbow Party members from having lunch together with comrade Robert Chikwelete in Kapiri Mposhi is both an over-reaction as well as a waste of police and intelligence time, energy and resources. There are hundreds of crimes being committed everyday in this country, including by those in leadership, and the preoccupation of the police should be to investigate these crimes and catch the criminals. It is not the duty of the police to restrict people’s movements, free speech, or social and political gatherings. What police permit does one need to eat lunch in a group? Which interpretation of the Public Order Act is that? And why are such ridiculous actions never directed at the PF?
We also note with a lot of concern and horror, how the police and intelligence services of our country have increasingly become reliant on PF cadres as a source of information on opposition political party activities and in the physical harassment of opposition supporters. We have seen these “combined forces” in Kapiri, Mpika, the Copperbelt and may other places. In the eyes of the general public, the police and intelligence services are becoming an extension of the ruling party – delinked from their overall state functions. Trust and confidence is being lost in these institutions. How can the police and intelligence service function without the trust of the masses?
Similarly, this development is also causing confusion and frustration amongst the rank and file of these services. The majority of the officers in these services do not want to be caricatured as PF party cadres, neither do they like their right to belong to an opposition political party taken away from them by default. They are being forced to perform duties that they dislike and detest. We sympathize with them and share the anguish, pain and humiliation they are being subjected to.
However, the PF leadership ought to realize that an unhappy and frustrated police and intelligence personnel is outright dangerous for its own very existence. The PF leadership is creating a “little monster” that it will not be able to handle. It is a disaster in the making for Zambia.