By ROGERS KALERO
THE message from Deputy Inspector General of Police for operations Charity Katanga that police officers should not be cowards is on point because the role of police officers is to deal firmly with all sorts of criminals including those planning to cause violence ahead of the August 12 elections,’’ the Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP) has said.
AVAP Copperbelt coordinator Poster Jumbe said they support Ms Katanga’s statement and that all peace-loving Zambians must support her because her interest was to ensure peaceful elections.
Mr Jumbe was reacting to a media statement by Ms Katanga where she urged police officers not to be cowards to fear crowds but be able to fairly and firmly deal with those disregarding the law and causing violence.
Ms Katanga was speaking on Friday at Kitwe Central Police station drill hall when she addressed Officer Commanding (OCs) and other senior police officers on the Copperbelt.
And in response to the statement from Ms Katanga, Mr Jumbe said the message delivered by the Police chief was on point because it was in the interest of saving the lives of Zambians and that only those with ill motives would condemn it.
“Yes, police officers must not be cowards but must be able to deal fairly and firmly with those breaking the law especially this time as we head towards elections. Those engaging in violence, regardless of their political parties, they must be punished accordingly,’’ Mr Jumbe said.
During a meeting with police officers in Kitwe at the weekend, Ms Katanga said political party cadres who want to disregard the law must be reminded that the country has laws and a government in place which they need to respect by adhering to the laws.
She said the incident in Ndola where a political party had to block the road because they had a funeral forcing the republican Vice President, Ms Inonge Wina to use an alternative road was unfortunate and should not be repeated. “We don’t bury on the road, we bury at the cemetery and so it is lawlessness for people to block the road and force the republican Vice President Inonge Wina to use an alternative route. We will not allow that again. We have to deal with this lawlessness on the Copperbelt,’’ she said.