CHOMBA MUSIKA & STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
INSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police Kakoma Kanganja says his office will work with various ministries to enhance security in public institutions to prevent the burning of government property witnessed in some parts of the country.
Mr Kanganja said police have since intensified foot and
motorised patrols countrywide to curb the burning of public institutions by suspected political party cadres.
He said this in an interview yesterday in response to Minister in the Office of the Vice-president Sylvia Chalikosa’s call for the police to deploy officers at Government institutions to prevent the burning of public offices.
Ms Chalikosa said this recently after inspecting the burnt office for the Kafue District Education Board Secretary (DEBS).
“That [enhancing security in public offices] is what we are thinking of doing. We will work with other line ministries so that they consider employing security guards to man government institutions,” Mr Kanganja said.
He warned that police will deal sternly with any person found burning property because it is immoral and illegal.
Mr Kanganja said police will continue being vigilant to prevent the burning of public property.
Several courts and markets have in the last two months been burnt by suspected cadres.
Four United Party for National Development cadres have been arrested in connection with the spate of arsons.
And Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said police are “on top of things” in arresting those behind cases of arson.
Mr Kampyongo told journalists in Lusaka yesterday that police are making headway in arresting those behind burning of public properties.
Mr Kampyongo, who is also Patriotic Front national chairperson for youth and security, also thanked youths in the country for being alert and helping guard public property.
“I wish to commend the police and our youths for being on top of things. They are working day and night to ensure public property is secure,” he said.
And KELVIN MBEWE reports that Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe has appealed to the church and international community to offer guidance on the arson cases that have left several government institutions, markets and other infrastructure burnt.
Mr Mwakalombe said the church and international community must condemn such acts.
He said this when he toured the recently burnt DEBS office on Tuesday in the company of Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Sylvia Chalikosa and Kafue district commissioner Joseph Kamana.
Mr Mwakalombe wondered why the international community has been quiet on the burning of property countrywide.
“Even the international community must speak out because this is a serious matter and they should not only comment on less serious issues. This is about human rights of people who will be deprived of services due to the burning of these offices,” he said.
And Ms Chalikosa called on Zambians to help police with information that can lead to the arrest of the culprits.
“It’s a topical issue that should be discussed in homes and schools because sometimes children see things and they can report before adults know what is happening,” she said.