Charity Katanga’s claim that I breached the Public Order ACT contravenes the privilege given to me as a Member of Parliament to visit my constituency and hold meetings without police authority.
As a professional police and Lawyer, Ms Katanga is fully aware that I do not need police authority but rather inform them of my presence and activities in my constituency in case my security is compromised.
It is therefore the duty of Police to protect my enjoyment of the privilege of freely interacting with my constituency and ensure that such an unfortunate incident does not recur.
I wonder if the Police are not in possession of a circular dated 11th December 2013 issued by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu then Minister of Home Affairs stating that no authority or permission is required for Members of Parliament to visit or carry out their duties in their constituencies.
And I quote
“This serves to inform and confirm to you that hon. Members of Parliament do not require police authority or permission to visit their constituencies in the course of carrying out their duties, or indeed as mere visitors. I am however, encouraging all hon. Members to positively consider informing the police about their presence in their respective constituencies as this helps the police in providing services to the hon. Members if need be.”
And recently the Speaker of the National Assembly Mr. Patrick Matibini passed a ruling through the same statement that Members of Parliament are free to go to their constituencies and address meetings without police authority and permission but merely inform them of their presence in the constituency.
The ruling was made on 1st July 2015 following an unfortunate incident were Hon Stephen Katuka was hindered by police to visit his constituency and educate them on the National Registration Cards and the Registration of voters Cards registration .
UPND is aware that the Patriotic Front government has put in place a scheme to harass intimidate, torture or even kill in-order to prevent the opposition party from forming government in 2016.
The Police are using the Public Order ACT as justification but that does not hold water following the ruling made by the Speaker Patrick Matibini in Parliament.
Am not in Kasama Central to campaign but to explain to my constituency what the position is regarding my matter. And to refer to me as a former Kasama Central MP is very unfortunate considering that the matter is before the court.
The nation must know that the PF scheme is a deadly cancer that can divide the nation. Even journalist in state owned media have been instructed to twist the truth and poison the nation with negativity with the hope that the citizens will give up on the opposition to form government.
However it is evident that the people of Zambia will stand united and we shall confront Police intimidation and violence with the language of peace.
Failed leadership of the PF cannot be blamed on the opposition. Lack of vision by the head of state cannot be blamed on opposition leaders.
I have no doubt that police are professional but political interference is making them look so unprofessional and paints a picture of a police state.
Geofrey Bwalya Mwamba
Vice President -administration