Stop abusing police, Libongani told

Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani is a civil servant who must stop abusing the police over privileges she does not deserve, People’s Party (PP) president Mike Mulongoti has said.

Mr Mulongoti said Zambians had never been a threat to any leadership in the country and that it was unacceptable for a civil servant like Ms Libongani to be blazing sirens and inconveniencing road users with a status she did not deserve.

He said Zambians would tolerate the sirens of ambulances and those of fire fighters because the officers in those vehicles were always in a hurry to save lives and property.

Mr Mulongoti said police motorcade escort was a preserve of President Michael Sata and Vice-President Guy Scott and that any other citizen currently enjoying such privileges were breaching cabinet procedures and protocol.

He said Zambians had nothing against Ms Libongani and that she must stop irritating citizens because her action was an abuse of office and authority.

Mr Mulongoti said Ms Libongani with her illegal police escort motorcade had been causing terror on the roads for a long time and that authorities must bring the misconduct to a stop so that road users could enjoy their freedom.

He wondered what danger Ms Libongani was facing in Zambia to have accorded herself a sweeping police motorcade stating that it was the first time that a civil servant at the rank of an Inspector General of Police was allowed to compete for status with her appointing authority.

“Zambians have never been a threat to their leaders least of all to civil servants such as the Inspector General of Police, the Prisons Commissioner, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) boss and other heads of departments in government. We are used to having the President and his deputy having a police motorcade sweeping his route and not Ms Libongani. Her motorcade is always flying at high speed and they are a danger to other road users. This must be stopped because it is extremely irritating,” Mr Mulongoti said.

He explained that it was extremely costly to have a motorcade sweeping for an official such as Ms Libongani to carry with her a horde of police officers each time she was travelling by road.

Mr Mulongoti said it was the tax payers who would have to pay for the upkeep, food and other necessities for all the officers that would accompany Ms Libongani on her every trip within Lusaka and outside the capital city.

Mr Mulongoti said having police escort for junior officers was nothing but an African mentality where public workers felt they were more important than the citizens they were serving.

He said in developing countries, police escort was strictly reserved for the presidency and that any other citizen in leadership was not allowed to have such privileges.

“We can tolerate ambulances and fire fighters blazing sirens on the roads but we get irritated with people like Libongani inconveniencing road users with her motorcade.In fact the cost involved in this exercise is so much and it is the poor citizens who have to pay. We want them to fight crime and not giving themselves a status they do not deserve,” Mr Mulongoti said.