Local News

DON’T PROVOKE POLICE, AVAP COUNSELS POLITICAL CADRES

By ROGERS KALERO

POLITICAL party cadres must not provoke police officers, but must ensure that they cooperate with them as they carry out their various duties in maintaining law and order in the country ahead of the August 12 elections,’’ the Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP) has said.

AVAP Copperbelt provincial coordinator Poster Jumbe said political parties should not deliberately be obstacles in maintaining law and order in the country by provoking police officers, but should engage each other and ensure that they find a common ground.

In an interview in Kitwe yesterday, Mr Jumbe said leaders of various political parties should show leadership by restraining their cadres from provoking police officers and stoning them because such incidents can turn out to be ugly if officers decide to react.

“We have heard incidents where some political party cadres have provoked police officers by stoning them or insulting them, but this is not good. This is why I am advising leaders of political parties to restrain their cadres because such incidents have led to ugly incidents where people are injured.

“As we head towards August 12, let us maintain peace. So my advice is that political party cadres must not provoke police officers, but must ensure that they cooperate with them as they carry out their various duties in maintaining law and order in the country ahead of the August 12 elections,’’ Mr Jumbe said Mr Jumbe commended the Police for engaging the political parties and other stakeholders ahead of the August elections, saying political parties and other stakeholders should not demonise the police but also look at the good things they have done.

He said whilst the police officers may have their own short-comings, they also deserved to be supported and commended for the positive developments they have recorded ahead of the August elections.

“We cannot continue to demonise the police for everything, then we are not being objective. We may have one or two officers who may have a problem, but it is not the entire police service.

“One thing I would like to commend them for is that they have improved on engaging stakeholders on various issues. Let us support them,’’ he said

When asked to comment on political parties who accuse the police of being bias towards the ruling party, Mr Jumbe said police officers were neutral but the problem was that some political parties were perceiving them to be their political rivals .

He said, if political parties had issues with police officers, they were better ways of addressing their concerns as opposed to being provocative and assaulting them verbally. “Police officers are neutral people although we may have one or two with ulterior motives. The problem is that some political parties perceive police officers as political rivals. Police officers are neutral people whose duty is to maintain law and order,’’ he said.

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