Inspector General of Police Graphel Musamba!
Inspector General of Police Graphel Musamba!


If we were to grade all police chiefs that have presided over the affairs of the Zambia Police Service, Graphael Musamba would top the list as the worst ever! Whether his careless statements have been by design or not, only he knows best. From the time he took over from Lemmy Kajoba, Graphael has been on rampage threatening the opposition as if he heads the UPND secretariat. He has literally taken over UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda’s job. Just after being sworn in, his first statement criminally defamed Socialist Party leader Fred M’membe whom he accused of planning criminal activities. It was a political statement that sent citizens in awe. Citizens wondered whether that statement was written by State House aides or UPND secretariat officials. Thereafter, he issued a barrage of other highly political statements that have clearly defined Graphael as a political hired gun by President Hakainde Hichilema. Graphael is at it again. He has told the opposition to hold rallies indoors because, according to him, the situation in the country is volatile. We challenge Graphael to tell the nation which law he is using by saying this. We also challenge him to point at and explain the volatile situation he is talking about. We all know that the UPND has failed to run government methodically. They have failed to fulfill the many promises they gave to the Zambians.

Further they have willfully raised the cost of living due to incompetence. If this is the volatile situation Graphael is referring to, then he is extremely toxic and does not fit to be Inspector General of Police. This is an economic situation that should make opposition question those in authority all the time. Further, the Constitution of Zambia mandates opposition parties to mobilise all the time under police protection. And since we just have two years to the next general election, the opposition should intensify their mobilisation. Graphael should therefore not put himself in the forefront protecting UPND’s bad governance by forbidding public gatherings in form of political rallies. We are all aware that Graphael was exhumed from the police museum by Hakainde, but this should not turn him into a lawless police officer in his quest to please the appointing authority.

What Graphael said is illegal and utter nonsense, and the opposition should dismiss it with the contempt it deserves. Zambia is a democratic state with full rights and freedoms of the people guaranteed. One of them is freedom of assembly which Graphael is trying to take away from Zambians who should enjoy it. If this is what they have planned with Hakainde so that when people get agitated he invokes the Constitution it will not work. Certainly not in Zambia!

In fact, this habit of exhuming service men and women should stop. It takes away progressive ideas from young officers with fresh minds. You cannot pick up an ancient piece from the museum and expect it to live up to modern democratic trends. Modern policing requires civility and upholding the rule of law. It does not require threats through the gun. It requires intelligence and respect for the rule of law.

We therefore agree with Lusaka lawyer Celestin Mukandila who has described Graphael’s statement as unconstitutional, and has urged the Law Association of Zambia to challenge this illegal decree.

In his letter to Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Lungisani Zulu, Mukandila said the statement must be challenged immediately, warning that failure to do so will erode fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

“Mr president you will note that in line with the objects for which the Association is established as provided for in section 4 (l) of the law association of Zambia Act Chapter 31 of the laws of Zambia, the association is mandated to seek the advancement of the rule of law and the rights and liberties of the individual. Further, Article 20(1) as read together with Article 21(1) of the Constitution of Zambia chapter 1 of the laws of Zambia guarantees the protection of the freedom of expression and the protection of freedom of assembly and association,” said Mukandila.

“Your excellency, from the aforementioned provisions of the law and the decided Supreme Court decisions, the Law Association of Zambia must immediately challenge the constitutionality of the statement that the Inspector General of Police made as the said statement abrogates the guaranteed constitutional rights of the opposition political persons and proposes to threaten criminal prosecution of gatherings that may occur. Your excellency, I opine that the statement that was made goes against the tenets of constitutionalism, the rule of law as well as the principles of a good democracy such as ours and promotes the advancements of a one-party state tendency which must be checked to protect our democracy and multipartism we have achieved thus far. Your excellency, the country is earmarked for general elections in the next two (2) years and such statements only prove a shrinking democratic space which curtails opposition political players from participating in a leveled playing field of this democratic process in offering alternative solutions to our country. Your excellency, your intervention in defense of our democracy, rights, and individual liberties is in line with the mandate as the Law Association of Zambia is a necessity at present.”

In fact, all stakeholders should rise up and challenge these dictatorial tendencies Hakainde is breeding using state institutions. It should not just take LAZ. The church, civil society, individual activists and all stakeholders should stand up to defend their rights and freedoms. This year should not be like last year where Hakainde stopped the opposition from holding rallies. No sane Zambian should tolerate this archaic way of governance. UPND has destroyed the Judiciary, the Legislature and every other institution of government. For example, the Anti-Corruption Commission is just a shell of itself. This is probably the worst it has ever been in its history. The Drug Enforcement Commission is equally just on paper. All these institutions are now just fighting political battles for the UPND. They are just finishing taxpayer’s money through incompetence.

So Graphael should know that Zambians will not allow him to handover the Zambia Police Service to the UPND secretariat on a silver platter. It is a people’s institution which should serve everyone including those in opposition. Just as we have said before, if Graphael wants to please Hakainde so much, let him go and work at the UPND secretariat. Graphael’s careless, illegal and inflammatory statements are a recipe for chaos in the country, which has remained as a beacon of peace in Africa. They are highly divisive. He is pushing citizens against the wall so that when they react he can justify use of extreme measures. He needs to be tamed and urgently so. Graphael is certainly not a good top cop. But what Graphael should not forget is that when reckoning time comes he will remain alone and there will be no one to defend him, not even Hakainde. It is said that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Remember that and act accordingly!

Zambia does not start and end with Graphael or Hakainde. It is a collective, perpetual society.
[The Mast]


  1. This Mast editorial looks like it was authored by one Dr. M’membe. It is an exergeration to say that Mr. Musamba is the worst Police IG ever. That distinction still belongs to Mr. Kakoma Kanganja and the current IG has yet to surpass him though clearly he is a serious contender for this dubious title.

    The IG should not stand in the way of opposition parties to engage the public. If the opposition misbehave, then the police can have a legitimate reason to be cautious. Towards the end of last year, the IG said the Socialist Party can have their rally early this year. He must not backtrack on that. It is not for him to prescribe how the opposition can engage the public.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here