INSPECTOR General of Police Stella Libongani has warned politicians that take the law into their own hands will face the “full force” of the police.
Ms Libongani told journalists in Kitwe yesterday that violence involving political parties is worrying.
“Police are there to protect everyone, there is no need for politicians to take the law into their own hands.
Should political parties do this, the police will come with full force to prevent damage to property and injury to ordinary citizens.
Ms Libongani, who is on a tour of Zambia Police Service infrastructure on the Copperbelt, said the police command is committed to protecting every citizen.
“Politicians should abide by the law when holding public functions. They should mind the way they react to each other,” she said.
“Those that want to exercise their right to freedom of association should not do so at the expense of the ordinary citizen,” Ms Libongani said.
She also said police have stepped up security at Kasumbalesa border in Chililabombwe and that investigations into the shooting of a Somali truck driver are going on well.
“We have beefed up security at Kasumbalesa border post following the shooting of a Somali national on Saturday.
“We have two groups – there is the Kamfinsa Mobile Unit and the Police Station, where we have increased personnel.
The situation has normalised at the border,” Ms Libongani said.
She also said that the Ministry of Home Affairs will construct about 20,000 housing units, which will be shared by various departments under the ministry throughout the country.
She said the construction of the housing units is expected to start soon.
And Patriotic Front (PF) youths in Lusaka have said that sentiments attributed to the United Party for National Development (UPND) that it will arm its cadres are meant to distabilise the nation.
PF Lusaka Province youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba told the Daily Mail in a walkin interview yesterday that it is unacceptable for UPND to openly incite members to be armed in a nation that is governed by laws.
“PF youths will not treat this threat with kid gloves.
I have since instructed our youths to be alert and I appeal to the police to quickly move in and deal with this matter,” Mr Kamba said.
He was reacting to media reports attributed to UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa that as a defence mechanism against possible PF attacks, members of the opposition political party would now arm themselves with necessary weapons whenever they go to campaign.
He said going by past experiences, UPND has proved to be a violent party and not the PF.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of
Disputes (SACCORD) has appealed to political parties to sensitise their cadres against political violence.
SACCORD executive director Boniface Cheembe said there is need for high levels of political tolerance.
“SACCORD feels political parties must keep their cadres in check and sensitise them that violence shall not take this country anywhere,” Mr Cheembe said.
He said Zambia is a maturing democracy which has moved away from the culture of violence to marshal support.
“People are interested in ideas of how best to develop our country, not violence or moving with guns,” he said.
Mr Cheembe appealed to the police to be proactive and to take action against perpetrators of violence.
“The police must quickly arrest anyone wanting to destroy this country. They have the duty to protect our peace,” he said.
Mr Cheembe said political violence is a disservice to Zambians, who are anxious to see development.
Last weekend, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was attacked by suspected PF cadres at Sun FM in Ndola.