Police say no to Luo’s chief directive

The Zambia Police says it will not act on Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo’s directive to arrest any person masquerading as a chief before gathering evidence.

Zambia Police assistant public relations officer Rae Hamoonga said the police would first investigate the matter before effecting any arrest.

Mr Hamoonga said the police would first thoroughly investigate those suspected of masquerading as chiefs before anyone was arrested.

He said this is because courts of law depended on proof and not the directive.

“No one has been arrested and we cannot arrest anyone before investigation because we need evidence, if such cases are taken to court,” Mr Hamoonga said.

And a Bemba representative, Mulenga Kombe said the government should stop using threats as a weapon to solve traditional problems.

Mr Kombe said government was worsening traditional problems because of their interference in traditional affairs.

He said it was a recipe for anarchy for government to defy traditional authority.

On Sunday, Professor Luo directed law enforcement agencies to arrest any person masquerading as a chief in any chiefdom that has a gazetted traditional ruler.

Professor Luo said it was criminal for any person to claim to be a Chief of any chiefdom when there was a sitting traditional leader.

He was referring to an incident in which a man masquerading as  Chief Puta went to the chiefdom in an attempt to overthrow the sitting traditional leader in Chiengi district.

Prof Luo who described the act as criminal said government would ensure that chiefs in the country were protected and commended the police for taking quick action at the time of the incident in Chief Puta’s area.

She further said government only recognized chiefs that are gazetted as the rightful traditional leaders adding that the State would not tolerate any person whose intention is to destabilize chiefs it had gazetted.