Minister of Home Affairs Edger Lungu says the police seem too scared to deal with the ruling party cadres.
Lungu, in his address to the National Assembly yesterday in response to a Thursday point of order raised by Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo who wanted to know why the police had allowed the lawlessness exhibited by ruling Patriotic Front cadres, Lungu cited need for work culture in the police service for their pro-regime bias.
He said there was need for change of culture in the police service so that they could deal with lawlessness impartially and compel cadres of all political hues to operate within the law.
The Chawama parliamentarian further added that he had given directives to the police to deal firmly with the lawlessness.
Lungu also revealed to the National Assembly that 600 people had been detained over the illegal land grabs in Lusaka’s Mumbwa Road area and that the government was not going to allow people to allocate land illegally.
He said that his government had given directives that all cadres engaged in lawlessness must be arrestsed.
Lungu’s statement was echoed by Republican Vice-President Dr Guy Scott who, during the ‘Vice-President’s Question and Answer Session’, said criminals were joining the PF and that the authorities will deal with them firmly.
“Criminal minds are attracted to power, we now have a lot of criminals in the PF; they know that power will give them protection. People should not assume that everyone in green chitenge is a PF cadre,” Scott said.
In the same session, new lands minister Harry Kalaba described the Thursday arrest of over 600 illegal squatters as “a clampdown which is just beginning”.
Kalaba said the Thursday operation by Lusaka police was merely a start and that the government would extend the operations to all areas where cadres would grab land.
The government officials’ statement came on the back of Thursday events in Lusaka’s Mumbwa Road area.
Police, on the day, raided the Trishul Holdings-owned farmland which is about 15 kilometres from Lusaka central business district on Mumbwa road. The farm had been invaded by ruling Patriotic Front thugs who later sub-divided it into 30 metres square plots which they sold to party members at a paltry K10.
During the raid, the police arrested 600 people and took them to an undisclosed detention centre.
The police’s action angered the PF cadres who claimed the police had tampered with their only source of income.