PF cadres now given uniforms to harass citizens

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 07.56.51Dear editor,
I wish to express my disappointments over powers that government continues allow political cadres to wield. The ascendancy of His Excellency Edgar C. Lungu to the Presidency brought hope in my mind that for once, cadres would not hold powers in running bus stations markets including encroaching on private land. Until Tuesday the 3 February this week I had never encountered the bloodthirsty cadres! So on that Tuesday afternoon I jumped on a taxi on my daily errands into the Chinika industrial area along Mumbwa Road. We were just approaching the turn off to Trade Kings when a Toyota Hiace registration number ALT 6562 (PSV) pulled right onto our lane. Out of the Hiace disembarked about 8 middle aged men clad in reflective jackets similar to those used by RTSA. I noticed the jackets were branded LBS/LCC (Whatever that means) Another kind of the reflective jacket was branded ‘EASTERN POWER, BE SAFE” (Obviously in apparent reference to His Excellency Edgar Lungu’s origin – Eatern Province) Within no time, the men ordered me to step out of the Taxi (Toyota Corona Premio, registration number ACM 198) and immediately bundled the driver on the passenger’s seat while physically and verbally abusing him. One of the assailants got to the driver’s seat and started driving the taxi in the opposite direction, towards town. Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 07.56.28This drama happened in broad day light as other motorists looked on in disbelief. Immediately, I tried to call the emergency Police line but I just couldn’t get through. I then decided to call the RTSA call centre on 983 and narrated the whole episode as it unfolded. I got the shock of my life when the call centre officer refused to handle the issue at any level saying it was not within RTSA jurisdiction to handle the matter. I begged the officer to atleast pass on the report to the Police but he was adamant that I should do it by myself. For all I cared, the taxi driver was abducted! When I jumped on another Taxi and shared with the driver what had just transpired he expressed little surprise and confirmed that the gang comprised cadres and co-boys from Lumumba Bus station. Their vocation is to take over the running of as many taxi ranks around Lumumba Bus station as possible. The most preferred of them all is the rank just by the Mumbwa Road traffic lights (Corner Lumumba/Kalundwe Roads). The cadres allegedly extort undisclosed amounts of money from the taxi drivers. Drivers who elude the cadres are hunted down and once captured they are driven somewhere secretive and assaulted, their days cashing taken. As a form of punishment some drivers have their tyres deflated, sometimes punctured with screw drivers. In my small way, as a humble and responsible citizen, I went undercover at the Mumbwa Road traffic lights and saw some of these violent acts first hand. I took a couple of photos but I couldn’t take more for fear of victimization by these thugs. These barbaric acts happen on a daily basis and it is not a secret. The perpetraitors are uncompromising as they are always intoxicated with alcohol populary known as Junta. They can be seen buying the Junta from Dandiker, a near by liquor store. Any interested citizen can find these proud thugs there anytime during the course of the day. There is usually a Toyota Hiace – PSV improperly packed by the traffic lights. The cadres use it to surveillance their victims all day. I wish to state that I am non-partisan but wish to appeal to the President’s handlers or staff to draw his attention to this report. I may be too ordinary a citizen to influence the President to act on this matter but I believe in him and that just his soft word will be enough to put the cadres in their right place. Although I am not a Taxi driver myself I, just like many other Zambians in the informal sector wake up every day, working hard to make honest earnings. I hope His Excellency will prevent cadres from extorting money and feeding off hardworking and fruitful Zambians who may have voted for him overwhelmingly. The cleansing should extend to City Market, Inter-City and other cadre strongholds. Filyafine mwatile abakuswamo balifula elyo mukabafumyamo, bombeni mukwayi. Filyafine mwakolopa ama voti, impupu sha ma cadre nasho mukolope!!!
ANONYMOUS PLEASE!Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 07.56.17 Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 07.56.28

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