By JOHN SAKALA
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Coppperbelt Provincial Chairperson Chipoka Mulenga says police have good intelligence in tracking the opposition political parties but lack the same zeal in tracking riots.
Mr Mulenga has implored the police command to be proactive to crime prevention as they do in tracking and stopping opposition political party’s gathering.
He said Chingola has witnessed spates of riots and looting and it seems the police lack any intelligence information, yet they always have information when opposition is attending a wedding or a funeral.
He regretted that police are focusing more on law abiding opposition political parties and ignore serious elements that have potential to disrupt peace.
“It’s regrettable that residents of Chingola have lost the peace they’ve always enjoyed as a district. It’s regrettable that lives are being lost and harmed in this period of time.
“As NDC Copperbelt Province, we call for immediate and effective intervention by the security wings to curb the killings and thieving that’s taking place in the district. It’s unfortunate that it has taken residents to riot to attract police awakening. It’s unfortunate that it has to take rioting residents for police act. Nevertheless, we call on residents to remain calm and alert as they allow the police to reinforce and bring the killers to book,” he said.
He called for a lot of police presence in the district.
Mr Mulenga said those in traffic operations must be reassigned to crime prevention.
“There’s need to have all police officers focussing on the current predicament Chingola is facing. There should be no police mounting traffic road blocks. RTSA can handle that in the interim. Police must also not confront rioting children and residents with live ammunition. They have been equipped with a lot of riot gear and material. Guns must only be used when police lives are threatened by gun holding criminals. It’s unfortunate that guns are being used on stone throwers.
“It’s important that all elected political leaders like MPs and mayor take this matter seriously and abandon what ever they’re occupied with and provide leadership to the District. On behalf of the Chingola residents, as NDC, we demand for daily updates from leadership on the progress being made to arrest the killers. It’s unacceptable to see Chingola residents failing to sleep at night. It’s unfortunate that business in Chingola has come to an erratic operating hours leading to continued hardships presented by electricity load shading and bad economic growth,” he said.
He appealed to the residents of Chingola to stay calm but alert and allow the police to do their work without interference.
Mr Mulenga said taking the law in their own hands will make them become victims to police arrests and law enforcement agencies.