Politics

SIANDENGE ‘CLEARED’ – MWEETWA

By ADRIAN MWANZA and IRVIN MUYUMBWA

THERE is nothing wrong with the appointment of former Western Province Commissioner of Police Fanwell Siandenge as the new State House Deputy Inspector General of Police for Special Duties Fanwell Siandenge because he was properly cleared, the UPND has said.

PeP president, Sean Tembo has however challenged UPND to tell the nation where the charges against Mr Siandenge disappeared to since there was no court record of the charges being dismissed or dropped by the State.

He said even if he was pardoned, proper procedure should have been followed.

“The suspect should have been presented before court. We need to respect the rule of law,” Mr Tembo insisted.

UPND member of the legal team Cornelius Mweetwa said Mr Siandenge did not have any criminal or civil case and that he was cleared and was fit to hold the office of deputy inspector general of police.

The ruling UPND Alliance yesterday clarified that Mr Siandenge’s appointment was not in breach of any law because he has no pending criminal or civil matter in any court or police prior to being sworn in.

In August 2016, Mr. Siandenge was charged with aggravated robbery together with four others, but went into hiding.

This was after Mr. Siandenge, in the company of others intercepted a vehicle carrying ballot boxers during the 2016 general elections.

Mr Mweetwa said that as far as the UPND legal team was concerned, Mr Siandenge was free and that there was no criminal record which was active at the moment.

Mr Siandenge had been on the run since then and only resurfaced when he was being unveiled by President Hichilema as the new deputy IG for State House special duties.

But Mr Mweetwa said the President did not err when making the appointment because Mr Siandenge was not a fugitive and was not on the wanted list.

“I’m part of the UPND legal team and I can assure you that he is not a fugitive as people think and it would be wise for the relevant authorities to clarify this point,” he said.

Mr Mweetwa also said that the UPND did not condone suggestions from some quarters that the Patriotic Front needed to be deregistered because it allegedly acted as a criminal organisation.

He said UPND was not interested in mutilating the former ruling party because they wanted to promote the growth of democracy.

Mr Mweetwa said if the PF had done the same the time they were in opposition it would have been a different story as they could not have been in power today.

Meanwhile he also cleared the air on the issue of the Speaker when he said that the PF were not dribbled by the UPND.

He said the PF did not participate in the election of the Speaker and that it was unfortunate that Mr Brian Mundubile had suggested otherwise.

“The PF were not dribbled on the election of the Speaker, they did not participate and they need to be realistic since they failed to field any candidate and not the propaganda being perpetuated by Mr Mundubile,” he said.

Mr Mweetwa also said there was need for individuals who were retired or hounded out of the civil service because they were perceived to be in the opposition to be patient because they had not normalised the running of the service.

He said they had received a number of phone calls from various individuals who wanted to be reinstated but that they needed to be a bit calm and patient.

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