Police invite informers


THOSE with information that may be helpful to bring perpetrators of violence to book should avail it to us, Police Assistant Public Relations Officer Esther Katongo has said.

The Police has since refuted claims that the United Party for National Development (UPND) party secretariat was attacked by some suspected Patriotic front (PF) cadres.

But UPND Party Secretary General Stephen Katuka said the police was being unreasonable and controlled by the State.

Ms Katongo said the reports by the UPND that their secretariat was attacked by some suspected PF cadres were false and unfounded.

She explained that police officers were deployed at the secretariat before the party went for their nominations so that the infrastructure and other properties were protected at the secretariat.

Ms Katongo said her office had not received any report from the UPND party on the attack at the secretariat and wondered where such reports were coming from because there were police officers deployed at the secretariat to keep vigil.

Ms. Katongo described the just ended filing in of nominations by various political parties countrywide as generally peaceful except for Lusaka and Southern Province where some pockets of violence were recorded.

She said despite experiencing some violent incidences, police officers deployed to the event managed to contain the situation.

Further, Ms. Katongo dispelled reports being circulated in some sections of the media purporting that police officers were taking sides in the discharge of their duties. She stated that police officers were impartial and conducted themselves in a professional manner.

She said if officers were toothless and unprofessional, the situation in the country was not going to be as peaceful as it is today, adding that the police would not take lightly statements that were likely to incite violence or demean the rule of law  and had potential to breed disobedience in the country.

She has since called upon all political players to desist from issuing statements that might incite violence or undermine the dictates of the law, but see to it that they preached peace to their supporters and encouraged them to exercise high levels of tolerance to divergent views.

“We also want to state that we are investigating all cases of violence that were witnessed and hope to bring perpetrators to book. The police are on alert and ready to arrest all those that may want to orchestrate violence throughout the period of campaign, during and after election. The police will not be distracted by those that would want to portray us in bad taste,” she said.