Lungu fearful of Dr M’membe
By Staff Reporter
President Edgar Lungu is aware of the sustained attacks and humiliation targeted at Dr Fred M’membe, Socialist Party General Secretary Dr Cosmas Musumali has disclosed.
And Dr Musumali has demanded immediate dismal of Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo for orchestrating sustained attacks on Dr M’membe in Shiwang’andu district.
Addressing a press briefing this morning at Samora Machel House, Socialist Party secretariat, Dr Musumali said following a careful analysis of the events, it was clear that President Lungu was aware of what was happening.
On Saturday, about 30 people in police uniform using motor vehicles with registration numbers; ALD 6378, ZP 7313 and ZP 2498, without any search or arrest warrant jumped the parameters of the fence, destroyed the gate in order to access the house in Mwika village belonging to Dr M’membe who is SP 2021 presidential candidate.
Dr Musumali regretted that the control of the country was in the hands of thugs who had no regard for law.
“And let’s not be cheated, President Lungu is well aware of this, President Lungu is an intelligent person, those of us who shared school university with him knew that this is an intelligent person, so he is not ignorant of this scandalous reality he knows it, if anything he has quickly leant how to use it to his advantage. The reservations he might have had some time back has since disappeared.
“The obvious and very systematic attempt to destroy Dr M’membe are not without the knowledge and maybe even the blessing of President Lungu. It will therefore, take only President Lungu himself to stop the mess and the attack,” Dr Musumali said.
“It was also clear to us that the police command had completely lost control, it had surrendered to the minister of home affairs who had become the law and the judge in that area, but we now look at this scenario differently. There is an emerging pattern of using naked violence, intimidation and impunity country wide, those running our police force, our courts of law and other agencies of the state that once dreamed of professionalism have either surrendered or become cynical on the margins of the establishment,” he said.
He said the fear of Dr M’membe was driving those in leadership to undertake actions that they would one day regret.
“You are in power today, it’s not forever, power ends. Zambia will still be there. Unfortunately, whatever you do is being recorded its being documented, its being disseminated,” reminded President Lungu. “This is a struggle if we can’t finish it ourselves our children our grandchildren will finish it for us. Those in authority be wise save this country, you are not being wise, you are not serving this country”.
Dr Musumali demanded for the immediate dismissal of Kampyongo and return of all stolen items and restoration of all broken fittings to the property.
“You are driving us to limits and this is unacceptable, we have demands and these are very small demands; first, the people occupying Dr M’membe house should immediately vacate it, the continued occupation of the house again is unacceptable and its illegal,” he said.
“Secondly all stolen paintings should be brought back, vandalized ornamentation replaced and if there are any destroyed fittings we want to see them back, we want them repaired and yes we want our food back, all consumed food should be brought back, the 19 cows – the animals have nothing to do with their political ambitions, the animals are innocent and all those who gave directive for the raid on the house must step down from their jobs. Lastly but not the least, President Lungu must act in the interest of justice for all. He’s tolerance and support for impunity will destroy Zambia, he must stop the lawlessness in Shiwang’andu, we want him to fire Kampyongo today, immediately,” he said.
The incidence was reported to senior chief Nkula by ba mayo bana mwika who is the acting village headwoman in the absence of village headman Mwika mukulu Dr Fred M’membe.
Dr M’membe is the village headman and chief Nkula commanded the councilor to release Mr Kapyanga and Mr Mulenga through the village committee member of mwika village Mr Jack mulenga but the councilor totally refused to do so.
When our team pleaded and told the ward councilor that this was an instruction from chief Nkula, he responded that chief Nkula doesn’t have power over him.
He even said who is chief Nkula to give instructions to me, don’t worry I don’t report to him and he has no power to touch me on what I have decided to do on this matter.
He further said Nkula cannot scare me because I work with people who are above him with higher authority than chief Nkula.
Our team tried hard to defuse the situation by leaving that scene and this was around 20hours, but by now there was a phone call that the councilor with the help of the cop ‘ which is a community organisation had bundled up comrade mulenga in a vehicle and were taking him to police in chinsali and also looking for our team so that they could arrest the members of our team.
As am talking to you now those comrades who were arrested and taken to chinsali are still there, we don’t have information about what happened to them.
He said the party had tried to find out what could be the cause of this action and had come to a conclusion that it was politically motivated.
“The truth is we don’t know, it doesn’t make sense, legally it doesn’t make sense, but we realize that we are looking maybe in the wrong direction this is not a legal issues, it’s a political issue and the whole actionist political,” Dr Musumali said. “And that has got implications”.
He said although the extent of the damage could not ascertained yet, the unruly behaviour exhibited by the group that raided the house did not give much hope.
“It’s apparent that the raid was meant to and has also achieved the objective of vandalizing the house,” he said. “This is a second time the house is being vandalized; the first time was about two years ago when PF cadres attacked that house, they destroyed windows and doors, not a single arrest was made , yet those are well known PF cadres in the district”.
We do not expect justice this time”
Dr Musumali said lawlessness and impunity had become order of the day and was worse when it came to issues relating to Dr M’membe.
“Those in authority today hate him with passion, the unfounded fear of him makes them oblivious to the fact that he is a fellow human being who has a right to life and a citizen who also ought to enjoy the constitutional guaranteed freedoms,” he said.
“The second consequence is the growing anger and resentment of the community. Dr M’membe is village headman and respected by many over the years, he has significantly contributed to the welfare of that village”.
Dr Musumali said Dr M’membe had contributed significantly to the development of mwika village and the attack was only mounting anger amongst those in the community.
He recalled how the previous resentment by the people was when Post Newspapers Limited liquidator Lewis Musho threatened to take away the village house.
“The community viewed this move as never ending vendetta amid at humiliating and destroying Dr M’membe,” Dr Musumali said. “The current raid and occupation of the houses is therefore exacerbating the situation”.
He said the Socialist Party was convinced that the attack on Dr M’membe had nothing to do with the liquidation of Post Newspapers but the growing popularity of the party Shiwang’andu district and Muchinga Province in general.
“But with that anger of the people the PF is marginalizing itself, they are giving the Socialist Party sounding victory two years ahead,” he said. “But if the rising community anger is not moderated by changing behaviour in that constituency, it will be a miracle if the pf retains the seat in 2021”.
He said the arrogance and unwarranted attacks on Dr M’membe were contributing to the PF’s own downfall in that area.
While appealing for peace in Mwika village and Muchinga Province in general, Dr Musumali warned that the masses’ anger could also toxic.
He said people were already injuring enough and enduring a lot of pain in their daily lives.
Dr Musumali said more than ever before all fingers were pointing to President Lungu, although previously the lawlessness in Shiwang’andu was thought to be due to random actions of highly indiscipline elements in the PF lead by the constituency member of parliament Stephen Kampyongo.