The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has charged that the searching, summoning and the subsequent recording of a “warn and caution” statement from the UPND president Hakainde Hichilema by the Police after an order from President Edgar Lungu is a clear testimony of the Police’s unprofessional and unethical conduct.
FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenzi in a statement says the argument by the Zambia Police Force that it was investigating the matter even before the presidential order was given is purely a hiding behind a “transparent curtain”.
Mr Chipenzi says FODEP is alive to the fact that the police can never be impartial in the current structural set up where both the provincial and top Police command is appointed by the President.
He says in as much as FODEP is aware that the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Police inclusive, the current portfolio appointment in the Police has turned the Police command to be an ineffective institution unable to protect and respect citizens’ rights and freedom.
Mr Chipenzi notes that unless the appointment mode is reviewed and the police is given leeway to make independent decisions without the fear of being fired by politicians, Zambians will never see a professional run Police except a partisan Police acting on orders from politicians to fix opponents.
He states that FODEP condemns in the strongest term possible the continued harassment of political opponents by successive PF administrations who are trying to curtail other citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms.
Mr Chipenzi says FODEP appeals to President Edgar Lungu to respect and uphold the provision of the Constitution as promised in his swearing-in statement and to always remember the huge responsibility citizens have placed on him never to use state power to step on citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.