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Tribal Arrests debate takes centre stage in Parley

Tribal Arrests debate takes centre stage in Parley


By KALOBWE BWALYA
THERE was a heated debate yesterday in Parliament on the suspected tribal arrests alleged to be instigated by the new dawn government.
Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Jack Mwiimbu labored in vain to convince opposition PF Members of Parliament that the police were not working under instructions of the State.


This followed a point of order by leader of the opposition in parliament, Brian Mundubile questioning the arrests of Pambashe MP Ronald Chitotela, Kawambwa MP Nickson Chilangwa and Chinsali MP Kalalwe Mukosa who have been charged with assault, arson and malicious damage to property among others.
Mr Mundubile challenged Mr Mwiimbu to refute insinuations that he had order the arrests of the ‘Bemba’ MPs.
Speaking during a ministerial statement, Mr Mwiimbu claimed that the police were reluctant in effecting arrests against senior government and party officials because they were not given the freedom to operate independently, prompting former Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo to react.


Mr Kampyongo in a point of order challenged Mr Mwiimbu to substantiate his claims that there was interference in the operations of the police.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Nelly Mutti however asked to study the matter before giving her ruling.


On the tribal arrest allegations, Mr Mwiimbu insisted that there was no tribalism in the arrest of the three PF MPs, saying that they were his personal friends.


He said that he had never called or communicated with any police officer and that law enforcement agencies were actively working owing to the autonomy that had been assured by the new dawn government.
Mr. Mwiimbu said the ministry does not interfere in the operations of police.
He also refuted claims that police officers handling cases of Mr Chitotela and Mr Chilangwa had been replaced with officers from Lusaka to make the lives of the two parliamentarians difficult.


Mr Mwiimbu said police officers like any other public service workers could be transferred to any part of the country.

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