The Patriotic Front cadres’ public use of near-military uniform attire has raised concerns of compromised security in the country, says Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali.
Tayali said the concern comes following continued public display of uniforms and use of firearms by some ruling party cadres clad in military-like outfits or military fatigue.
He said it was becoming a dangerous habit for those using clothing similar to military uniforms to own and brandish guns publicly noting thatsome of these cases were being followed by the police.
“Just look at the incidences where known PF cadres, popular for their camouflage outfits, are found in compromising situations as happened during the Chipata Central and Livingstone shootings all during by-elections,” Tayali said.
He said it was surprising that brandishing of guns had become a common feature with most cadres especially among those from the ruling party including some ministers and other officials who have been seen with hand guns in public.
He said the Zambia Police should revisit the gun ownership act in order to establish better controls of weapons which have become popular in public domain.Tayali said the police should also look into the issue of military or police clothing which if in wrong hands could pose a threat to public security.
“The police should also monitor those dressing up in seemingly military attire as we have heard of criminals using the uniforms during their illegal activities and that becomes a great concern for public security,” he said.
“It is no wonder allegations of a secret militia have been spoken of in the country owing to the existence of some form of ‘gangsterism’ clusters who have taken to military camouflage dress and gun ownership as a trend,” he said.
The police have in the past confiscated various cardigans and other outfits which were similar to military designs from members of the public as a way of monitoring the availability and use for security purposes.