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No justification for lawlessness

THE lawlessness at Kapata Bus Station in Chipata where suspected United Party for National Development cadres have for the second time allegedly damaged the Andrich Coach Service offices must be brought to a stop immediately by arresting the culprits. It is alleged that those behind the damaging of Andrich offices are demanding that the buses which belong to Patriotic Front (PF) Eastern Province chairperson Andrew Lubusha stop operating from the station. This is the second time that Mr Lubusha’s offices in Chipata were broken into and looted, including passengers’ luggage, since PF lost the August 12, 2021 general election. Eastern Province Police Commanding Officer Davies Simwanza confirmed in Chipata yesterday that suspected political party cadres have damaged property worth K10,000. “The suspected cadres who broke into the offices are demanding that Andrich Coach Service offices be demolished because they were constructed on the entrance of Kapata Bus Station,” he said. It is good that a manhunt has been launched to bring the culprits to book. This cannot be condoned, more particularly under the new dawn government, which has put a premium on the rule of law. President Hakainde Hichilema has been very categorical on lawlessness. He has promised to ensure that the rule of law prevails throughout his reign. He has time and again warned lawbreakers that the long arm of the law will visit them regardless of their political affiliation. The President has demonstrated political will and provided enough guidance on the need to uphold law and order. Under the rule of law, no one is above the law. Anyone who breaks the law must face the consequences. The reason advanced that the offices were wrongly constructed at the entrance of Kapata Bus Station is not justification for anyone to commit a crime. Moreover, there are relevant authorities under whose jurisdiction such matters can ably be handled if a wrong was committed. As it were, if the law was broken then in building the offices in the wrong place, appropriate action must be taken. Such appropriate action is certainly not people destroying property with impunity.
It has also been alleged that those behind the lawlessness are merely avenging for the ill-treatment they experienced at the hands of former ruling party cadres. If that was the case, that is not justifiable too; two wrongs do not make a right.
If one is aggrieved and has evidence of wrongdoing, they should report such to law enforcement agencies as opposed to taking the law into their own hands and in the process break the law. Moreover, bus stations are not political battlefields but business premises which should be treated as such. Political cadres should desist from turning bus stations and markets into battlefields because such acts are retrogressive and can stifle economic growth. For the sake of the country’s progress, let people put political differences aside and work together now that elections are behind us. Political cadres must know that before political affiliation, they are Zambians and therefore whatever decision they make, they should look at the bigger picture and put national interest first. Causing anarchy in any premises is definitely not in any away beneficial to the country. Law enforcement agencies should therefore work round the clock to bring the culprits to book. This is the only way to send a strong deterrent message to would-be offenders that lawlessness will not go unpunished. As they do so, the council too should get to the bottom of the allegation that the offices were built on undesignated space.