GOVERNMENT has instituted an inquiry into the conduct of the police during riots in Kalumbila’s Manyama area last Wednesday in which 21 United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres were arrested.
On Wednesday last week, UPND cadres rioted at Manyama Primary School after being advised not to hold a public meeting without prior authorisation and while academic activities were under-way at the institution.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila told parliament in a ministerial statement yesterday that Government would not accept poor management of the public order by the police.
“I have instituted an internal inquiry into the conduct of the police, especially with regard to how they handled those who rioted for no reason at all and endangered the lives of innocent pupils and teachers and destroyed public property bought at great expense.
“Any police officer found wanting shall, therefore, be dealt with in accordance with the law,” Mr Mwila said.
He warned that riotous behaviour and breach of peace would not be tolerated from any political party.
Mr Mwila said all political parties have a duty to preserve peace and operate within the confines of the law.
He said all leaders across the political spectrum should commit themselves to peaceful conduct of politics.
“We must conduct our politics in a civil, peaceful and dignified manner, and promote national unity in diversity in line with our hard-won independence and national motto: ‘One Zambia, One Nation’, Mr Mwila said.
He said it is sad that the riot which could have been avoided, was caused by the UPND leaders.
Mr Mwila said the riot was uncalled for, unnecessary and that this was caused purely by poor planning, lack of discipline and a growing tendency of UPND supporters insisting on having things their way.
He also confirmed that on Saturday, 18 out of the 21 UPND cadres who were arrested and detained during the Manyama area riots were released upon paying admission of guilt fees.
Mr Mwila further said three UPND cadres are still in police custody because of failure to pay the admission of guilt fees.