Slowly but surely the rule of law and respect of human rights are becoming highly compromised by partisan politics. The Police are now helpless in the face of criminal conduct by ruling party cadres.
Police at Chelstone Police are holding without any charge Humphrey Bwalya a suspected UPND cadre who was assaulted by suspected PF cadres and handed over to Chelstone Police on suspicion of complicity in the Livingstone violence.
It is not clear how PF cadres in Lusaka would know a UPND cadre involved in the Livingstone fracas- unless they were there also.
However the bone of contention is that Police arrested Bwalya and have since detained him without any medical attention in spite of the assault he was subjected to as evidenced by the blood soaked clothes he was wearing.
The same thing happened at the Livingstone Central Police Station last week when Western Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta, a former Police Officer in the Anti Robbery squad descended on Mazabuka MP Garry Nkhombo who he assaulted severely in full view of the Police to the extent that the MP is now hospitalized.
The Police made no effort to stop the assault nor to charge Mwaliteta either for disruptive conduct or indeed assault.
When the matter was raised in court the presiding Magistrate ordered that Nkombo should be taken for medical attention and a medical report should be furnished to the court. The Police ignored the order resulting in the subsequent locking up of a senior officer for disobeying court orders.
This is an unparalleled display of impunity and dereliction of duty which confirms the fact that the Police are not acting professionally and perhaps confirms concerns that the Police Force has been seriously infiltrated by party cadres.
Whatever the case the prognosis is not very good.
Memories are still fresh of the travails suffered by MMD President Nevers Mumba who was at first arrested and incarcerated in jail for “conduct”, simply because he alleged that the Patriotic Front was funding rebellion in his party.
Earlier he had been arrested on the Highway and was charged with illegal assembly and for good measure overspeeding. Thankfully a nolle Prosequi has been entered.
That is not all. At the weekend PF cadres invaded and took over a car wash belonging to former MMD MP Faustine Sinyangwe.
The cadres were so brazen that they went on Television to claim their conquest and taunt Ms. Sinyangwe over the property which they vowed never to return. The Police are aware of this development and have taken no steps to stop the illegality.
When approached they have suggested an “amicable” settlement as they would not want to enforce the law. In other words the Police are afraid to assist Mrs. Sinyangwe to get back what legally belongs to her because the Party has taken it over.
If members of the public can not turn to the Police for protection, because the law enforcement institution is compromised to the extent of sitting by as offences are committed, where is the nation heading to?
These and many acts of illegality including the appointment of individuals who lack integrity into sensitive Government positions open Government to serious accusations of condoning corruption, illegality and abuse of the rule of law.