The ultimate culprit in this matter is not the IG Raphael Musamba, It is President Hichilema- Sishuwa Sishuwa


Sishuwa Sishuwa writes


The ultimate culprit in this matter is not the Inspector General of Police Raphael Musamba, however deplorable his professional conduct has been since he was appointed to the role in April 2023. It is President Hichilema.

If the IG was doing what Hichilema does not approve, the president would have long removed him from that position. In fact, Hichilema has previously and publicly praised the conduct of the same IG being condemned, stating that he wishes he had appointed him earlier! There is a wider point to be made here about the police under Hichilema: that the conduct of the police on this case is not an isolated incident, but part of a wider pattern, one that many have overlooked because those affected are largely opposition members. What we are witnessing today, as it was under Edgar Lungu, is the institutional deterioration, loss of autonomy and politicisation of the police.

In addition to their constitutionally prescribed mandate of protecting human rights, the core operational duties of a professional police service is to maintain law and order, protect members of the public and their property, prevent the commission of offences and to bring the offenders to justice. To effectively execute these responsibilities, the police must possess the authority, widely recognised by the public, as the lawful and rightful body to enforce them and to do so in a professional and impartial manner that builds public confidence in the institution and helps improve the quality of life for all citizens. It is precisely this authority that has deserted the police in Zambia today, as was the case under the PF.

The public, rather than viewing it as an apolitical and professional body that is out to protect individual liberties of all Zambians regardless of their political affiliation, now regards the police as nothing more than hired agents of the ruling party. This is because the executive branch of government has corrupted the police, as it has done to other state institutions, to primarily function as a sword for the political elites in power and their supporters.

A fundamental part of corruption is corrupting the system, including the police, the judiciary, and other supposedly independent state institutions in order to serve the interests of those in power. This is precisely what Hichilema and the UPND have done in order to entrench their grip on power. Think of the police guarding an illegal assembly of Miles Sampa rather than stopping it! Think of the police effectively banning public rallies by opposition parties since the election of Hichilema in 2021. Think of the police… This is not to defend the IG; it is to say that we should stop shielding Hichilema from blame. Yes, the police is today led by a top command that epitomises its professional decay, lack of autonomy, and partisanship.

In fact, I would say that there is a curious way in which the true character of the President of Zambia, especially in relation to their attitude towards power, the rule of law and their commitment to entrenching civil liberties and safeguarding the independence and integrity of state institutions, is partly revealed or expressed by his or her choice of appointment to the positions of Inspector General of Police. Superlatives cannot adequately capture the unprofessionalism that has marked the tenure of Musamba as Inspector General of Police.

Musamba embodies all that is wrong with the police service today: partisan, unprofessional, and out to do the bidding of the ruling elites. His occupancy of the office of Inspector General of Police has left its reputation in tatters. But the point is that Musamba did not appoint himself to that position. He was put there and has been maintained by President Hichilema. That is the official we must ultimately condemn or hold to account.

It is easy to go for the small fish, but we harm public interest and even those we are supporting when we shield them from legitimate criticism. Many Zambians have complained against the conduct of both the police and Musamba himself especially in relation to protecting democratic rights. Has this troubled Hichilema? Why? It is probably because Musamba is Hichilema’s chief enforcer, the person who does the dirty work the boss does not want to be seen to be doing or sanctioning; the Thabo Kawana of the police – someone working for a boss whose curated image would suffer for his direct association with their dishonorable and nefarious acts. The result of a police service led by Musamba is what we have today: an institution so bereft of public respect that it is largely a matter of discretion to refer to it as a service.

A two-tier system of policing has continued to exist in Zambia: one for UPND leaders and supporters who are at liberty to do as they please, and another for the rest of us who are denied their rights to assemble and whose individual liberties are constantly tramped upon at will. In this climate, Musamba cannot be expected to be professional when he is simply an extension of the cadrisation of the police.

It is a shame to have individuals with no sense of doing the right thing according to our laws in the service of the Zambian people at the helm of such an important organ of our security services. One glimmer of hope is that ordinary police officers, majority of whom are young, professional, and principled, have a dim view of their IG and not all of them display the same levels of partisanship and lack of respect for human rights.


  1. Of course we know that.

    He is indeed the architect of the unprecedented chaos we are witnessing right now.

    His appetite for oppression is like no other.

    Vote wisely in 2926.

    • Indigo Tryol fuseki stinking criminal full of tribalism and regionalism against one individual. P*nyo pako PF criminal iwe for always posting p*nyo comments


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