SHAPA Wakunguma has observed that police officers have been left vulnerable to impulsive action from their superiors.
Wakunguma is one of the police officers retired President Edgar Lungu in national after they retaliated to an attack on them from PF cadres at their offices in Sesheke district in Western Province, last year.
On Monday, a video went viral where a male police officer is in an argument with a PF cadre, Buseko Chellah, who accused the officer of saying that President Edgar Lungu would not win next year’s elections.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, in charge of operations, Bonny Kapeso said the officer involved in the alleged altercation had since transferred the officer to Western Province and deployed to general duties.
However, home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo said it was wrong for Kapeso to transfer the officer before investigating the matter.
Commenting on the issue, Wakunguma said professionally, it was wrong for anyone to be guided impulse rather than reason.
“This is true, not only for us as individuals but for the organisations, companies and the nation of which we are a part. The incident trending in the past hours of an officer accused of allegedly uttering disparaging words against our Commander-In-Chief in which the DIG – OPS (Deputy Inspector General of Police) reacted upon with the speed of light without allowing the due process of investigations to take effect sends a wrong signal to the hard working officers,” he said in his Facebook post.
“It is now a typical case of; ‘everyone for himself, God for us all. Officers were slowly feeling the protection that was once lost when he suddenly resurfaced with the ‘Wazakaza’ spirit. For a brief moment, there was hope for the restoration of law and order. Some of us were quick to conclude – here comes a man cut from a different cloth; devoid of the belief in the efficacy of patronage.”
He said Kapeso’s action did not “authentic him as a law enforcement officer; not even in the slightest”.
“The Zambia Police Standing Orders on page 25 Order 18 (1) and (2) states that: (1) when an adverse report is made on a member of the police his superior officer, the substance of the report will be communicated to him in writing if the report draws attention to faults or shortcomings which it may be within his power to remedy,” Wakunguma explained.
“Further, the Disciplinary Code and Procedures for Handling Offences in the Public Service (A booklet which is a summary of section 21 of the Civil Service Commission Act, Cap 259 of the Laws of Zambia) is very clear. The case must be investigated, page 13, section 27 (a). There must be a hearing, page 14 section 28. Right to appeal, page 15 section 29. Officers have been hurt for far too long a time. Elenour Roosevelt observed; ‘No one can hurt you without your consent’.”
He said the behaviour the police command confirmed that they were consenting to their officers being hurt.
“And we may add Ghandi’s counsel also; ‘they cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them’. Unfortunately, there is no self-respect to brag about anymore. Police Chaplaincy National Coordinator and your team; please continue praying for our Command,” said Wakunguma/The Mast.