BE PROFESSIONAL IG MUSAMBA
…but you should not be afraid of anyone, advises Hichilema
By Fanny Kalonda
PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says the law does not recognise who is a politician or leader of a political party but recognises that people operate within the rule of law.
He says people should not hide behind politics to get away with things.
Handing over 156 CDF police vehicles to all the constituencies in the country on Friday at Lusaka Showgrounds, President Hichilema asked Inspector General of Police Graphel Musamba to investigate issues before arresting people but he should not be afraid of anyone.
“…we can’t hide behind politics and expect to get away with it. Me when I was in opposition I used to receive call-outs to call me out in Kasama I used to go there. No problem. Call-out in Livingstone, I used to go there. Call-out in Isoka, I used to go there because I’m a law abiding citizen as I am now. That’s what I was then but today we are breaking the law and saying no, no, no, no don’t call me. Inspector General Musamba don’t call me because I’m a leader of a political party. Aikona man (no ways). I have also said to the Inspector General of Police, now I can say one or two things I wanted to keep confidential, I said to him ‘first investigate. Leave people alone, investigate the crime. Here are the vehicles to help you investigate the crime. Don’t arrest anyone before you investigate. Once you have investigated, you are ready to arrest, arrest. Once you have arrested take people to court quickly. If the matter is bailable let the court give them bail. Let them go home and prosecute from there. That is professionalism’. We don’t want to digress our time to side issues, sideshows where people want to make a name by breaking the law. No, no, no, no, no. Let us be professional Inspector General of Police but you should not be afraid of anyone,” he said. “So I think we are getting there. We are working in an organised way. We are getting there. The law does not recognise who is a politician. The law does not recognise who is the leader of a political party. The law does not recognise who is what. The law simply recognises a human being who should operate within the rule of law. You transgress the law, do not cross lines, don’t say you cannot – the police should not get to you because you are a leader of a political party. Aikona man.”
He said he has told his children and wife Mutinta to behave the same way as everyone in society.
“My wife and myself and my children cannot go to a public place and start attacking people because I’m the President of Zambia. The law does not allow that. The law does not allow me to steal. The law does not recognise who is a child of a head of state. It does not. Who is the child of a minister, who is the child of a president of a political party. Who is a leader of a political party. The law does not distinguish. If there’s a quarrel in the home, the law does not recognise who your mother is, who your father is; where you were born; what language you speak. If you contravene the law, the law and the police will come in. It does not matter. And we are making a big difference. But because my wife is wife of the President she can go and insult fellow women no, the law will visitor her,” he said. “I tell my wife you must behave well, behave correctly, don’t break the law because the law will visit you. The police will come and send you a call out. I tell my children that behave properly in the community there because when you break the law you can’t run to me as my son or my daughter. The law will come and visit you. So behave yourself, that’s what I tell my children. Inspector General of Police there is no label on anyone’s forehead to say this one can break the law with impunity. If you are a leader of a political party behave yourself. Behave within the law, that’s all. As I am the leader of UPND I must behave myself as the leader of UPND. [I] Must behave myself as the President of this country. I must lead by example. Please citizens don’t fall in the trap of being misled. We want a discourse in the country that is decent. We want conduct in the country that is respectful.”
President Hichilema said the government took a decision that decentralisation is central to delivery of services to citizens.
“Let’s make decentralisation work. If it’s limping somewhere, let’s fix that limp. Decentralisation is a very important aspect that has been missing yet talked about over the years. Previous governments have talked about decentralisation but did not walk the talk. This government took a decision that decentralisation is central to delivery of services to citizens. Services closer to where the people live and that is an important aspect of serving the people and this government acknowledges that aspect of service delivery to the people of Zambia,” he said. “If there’s a shortage of skill there, let’s take those colleagues to those schools, to those institutes that is the connection between the policies and what we’re doing on the ground. And so yesterday (Thursday) I came back from Sesheke feeling a very happy citizen and I’m saying if the country was doing these things in the last 10 years, today the country would have been a different place. A better place no question about it. We want to see this decentralisation not just deliver skills but deliver business opportunities and create businessmen and women, young women, men in our localities. That is what my message will be today. But all of this going on, improvements continuing, is not possible if we have no security in our areas. If there’s criminality, if criminals are taking over our local communities. They will steal motors from trades training institutes…”
President Hichilema said the vehicles should respond to the needs of the communities around the country in maintaining law and order.
“My message to the Inspector General of Police, the command structure, is that now with these vehicles we should be able to respond to the call from the communities to maintain law and order. Again part of the decentralisation, local communities I didn’t say calls from Lusaka, calls from State House, calls from minister’s office, I am saying calls from ordinary members of the community,” he said.
He added that next year government will be distributing ambulances in the same way.
“Not long ago we were delivering CDF vehicles so development efforts on one hand and on the other law and order. Next year we are going to come here to hand over ambulances for each constituency. So within a short time we will have CDF monitoring vehicle for development, we will have the police vehicle for law and order, security and safety, then we will have ambulance so that our people who are ill can be taken to a higher level hospital quickly, safely and will save their lives. That is it,” said President Hichilema. “Minister of Home Affairs [Jack Mwiimbu], Minister of Local Government [Gary Nkombo] I have come to understand that Zambians got used to disorder. So as we bring order people begin to think that is not normal because what was normal was disorder. So as we normalise society people are complaining that ‘no this, that’. We will continue on this trajectory as we move towards a law abiding country. A law abiding country where people can do business even at 01:00 [hours]. We are moving to open borders 24/7 so that borders can wake in the night, trade and investment can happen in the night. But that is only possible where criminality is brought under control. And that’s why we have these vehicles. I have the pleasure to now officially hand over these vehicles not 10 of them to 10 constituencies, not hundred of them but 156 to all the constituencies of Zambia. That is the way we understand serving the country fairly, equitably, no segregation because we are all citizens. 156 vehicles, I now officially say we hand over to you the police and look after them so that they can last longer and they can deliver the services.”- The Mast