– Hundreds of Itezhi Tezhi district’s Patriotic Front cadres today matched from Masemu to Kataba area and held a protest rally at the District Commissioner’s office demanding his removal from office for alleged harassment of civil servants and PF cadres.
The unruly cadres chanted anti-District Commissioner slogans and carried placards reading “PF in Itezhi Tezhi want DC out, PF youth and Women want DC out for harassing civil servants”
The protesting cadres demanded that the DC be removed for what they claimed as causing problems in the PF party in Itezhi Tezhi district as well as for harassing civil servants in the district.
The protest rally which attracted many onlookers was led by Itezhi Tezhi District Patriotic Front Chairman Beaton Manje and other district party officials.
“We all know why we are here, we should never break anything but we demand that the DC peacefully leaves the office so that we can lock it up to secure it for the incoming new DC,” Beaton Manje said.
“We have problems in the party and there have been indiscriminate transfers of civil servants initiated by DC because of personal differences, we cannot allow this to continue” Mr Manje said.
“The DC is unleashing a form of terror on innocent civil servants and PF cadres in the name of transfers and also calling Drug Enforcement Commission( DEC) and ACC to arrest people in the district” the visibly annoyed Manje said.
"We will not leave this office or take part in other professional activities until our demands are fulfilled," Mr Manje said.
And when the cadres turned physical and tried to lock up the DC’s office, Police officers sealed the entrance to the DC’s office and police officer in charge Paul Samamba pleaded with cadres not lock up the office.
“You cannot lock up a public office, you have matched all the way from Masemu to this office and you aired your grievances and that is enough. DC ‘s office is not for a party but for the public who are seeking government services” Mr Samamba said.
Some cadres were heard shouting “we have powers to oust a DC. If in Lusaka Lubinda was removed, what is so special about a DC, If You want to shoot at us do so because we shall not leave until our desire is achieved’’ shouted one of the cadres.
The cadres vowed to camp at the DC’s office and demanded that they will only leave at the command of the President.
When contacted, Itezhi tezhi District Commissioner Mr Roy Nang’alelwa could not comment on the matter and referred everything to the ZCTU district officials.
And Itezhi Tezhi district Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Chairperson Chris Ng’andu has dissociated his organisation from the protests staged by the PF cadres saying it was unfortunate that cadres were drawing civil servants in protests.
Mr Ng’andu said in an interview that his organisation has not received any complaints about the recent transfers that have been effected in Itezhi tezhi district.
“We have no reports of displeasure against transfers that we have received and we are surprised that it is the cadres who are protesting on behalf of the civil servants” Mr Ng’andu said.
The Union leaders accused the party officials of hiding under civil service to air their internal party issues and personal vendattas.
Meanwhile Itezhi tezhi District ZCTU Vice Chairperson Mukunda Moote described the incidence as unfortunate saying that if there are civil servants who are not happy about certain issues they should follow established channels.
“If there are civil servants who are complaining to the political party, it is wrong because we have established channels that aggrieved civil servants can use instead of rushing to political parties to complain,” Mr Moote said.
Mr Moote said that his organisation is happy with the way the District Commissioner is working adding that because of him so many corruption cases especially those involving FRA maize have been unearthed and taken to court.
And Secretary General Muleya Sipatela said it was unusual that cadres were staging protests on matters which the civil servants could have done themselves if at all were not happy with some transfers.
“We will not accept what is happening here where party cadres protesting against DC use civil servants when issues at hand are those of their internal politics and their displeasure over other issues which do not concern civil servants,” Mr Sipatela said.
Recently the district has witnessed transfers from various government offices with latest information indicating that the entire district police administration has been transferred.