Rising Concern Over Alleged State-Sponsored Political Violence in Zambia

Some people in Zambia have often expressed doubt whether the Patrotic Front (PF) is a violent political party. The events that led to the death of PF cadre Menyani Zulu in Rufunsa recently serves as the answer to the question about the inherent violence within the PF. Michael Sata has ordered the police to arrest MMD and UPND cadres to vindicate the death of Menyani Zulu.

This is wrong because it has put the already compromised police service under pressure to arrest and detain innocent people so that they can win the praise of the President.

Already, Deputy Inspector General of Police Solomon Jere has disputed the Post newspaper story arguing that the deceased was killed by the opposition.

Mr Solomon Jere was in Mufumbwe when this incident occurred. He must rely on the reports which his constables will submit rather than twist the facts.

Solomon Jere and his officers have arrested UPND Lusaka province chairman Adrian Bauleni and other party members.

It is not in our customs to rejoice over someone’s death whether that person was your enemy or not, but Menyani Zulu’s demise must serve as a lesson for the PF that they cannot take advantage of the people all the time.

The PF is a political party in Zambia that is a play ground for the most violent thugs of our generation. In fact Menyani in one of the local dialects means ‘beat’. It is not known whether this was his real name or it was a pseudonym but it depicts violence or such ugly scenes.

We would like to differ with the impression by circulated that United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres and their counterpart from the MMD are responsible for the death of Menyani Zulu.

This impression creates a perception that the UPND and MMD are violent political parties, when it fact, it is the PF that instigates violence and all the forms of brutalization among the people. Anshell Kampengele was received presidential pardon Michael Sata after he was jailed. He is now serving as the Lusaka district Commissioner when records at the courts show that he is a convict.

People in Lusaka have not forgotten the violence that is inherent in Anshell Kampengele. He was sent to jail by the Lusaka Magistrate Court last year for assault and unlawful wounding of a former member of the PF Sam Zulu.

Sam Zulu was addressing a press briefing at the Court Yard Hotel in Lusaka where he was addressing the media to the undemocratic tendencies and intolerance in the PF. But this event was violently ended by Kampengele and other PF thugs who stormed the venue. Sam Zulu was beaten all over the body, bundled into a waiting van and driven to Michael Sata’s office at Farmer’s House along Cairo Road.

In his feeble state, Michael Sata also unleashed some punches on Sam Zulu in the presence of some Post newspaper reporters who were called to witness the incident so that they could produce a twisted media report. Anshell Kampengele has a very deep scar on the stomach which was inflicted on him by UNIP members in the late 1990s after he was beaten for initiating violence on the former ruling party.

In this incident, Michael Sata, who was the then National Secretary of the MMD had sent Kampengele and other party youths to attack UNIP members. Unfortunately, the mission went awry and Kampengele ended up in the University Teaching Hospital with a ripped abdomen. If Kampengele wants to dispute this statement, let him take off his shirt and prove to all and sundry.

There is still video and pictorial evidence in the archives showing Anshell Kampengele and Michael Sata assaulting residents of Chawama Township in Lusaka during the parliamentary by-election, which ushered in Geoffrey Samukonga as Member of Parliament for the area.

Many residents of Chawama were brutalised, with many who were perceived to be critical of their interests sustaining major body injuries.

Michael Sata was admonished for his violent acts by then President Frederick Chiluba. He has a proven track record of violence even when he was in the MMD. Old habits die hard. It is not possible now for Michael Sata to change his tactics. He is still using violence to suppress his opponents. But apart from Michael Sata and Kampengele, there is also a youth called Judge Ngoma. He is a former minis bus driver who operated from the Lusaka City Market station but he later moved to the Lusaka terminus.

Judge Ngoma is known for violence and for causing all manner of confusion and mayhem and disturbing public order in the bus stations.

The Lusaka magistrate Court had sent Judge Ngoma to prison together with Kampengele for the assault of Sam Zulu, but he also received Michael Sata’s presidential pardon and he was released. It is not surprising that Judge Ngoma and Michael Sata blended very smoothly because their common denominator is violence. The consequence of releasing Judge Ngoma from prison is that he continued to brutalise innocent people and those perceived to be against the PF.

During the Livingstone Central Constituency Parliamentary by-election recently, Judge Ngoma led a battalion of PF youths who were brutalizing Livingstone residents. The wounds for some of the victims have not healed hitherto.

With the examples here, we would like to attribute to death of Menyani Zulu to the PF itself. They are reacting to a dose of their own medicine. Menyani Zulu was in the Toyota Hilux van, which Lusaka Province deputy Permanent Secretary Kaizer Zulu drives. This is a government vehicle with a private number. It is a tinted and fitted with expensive gadgets such as magrims and car stereo. Kaizer Zulu was drive and deceased was jostling for bank notes with his peers when he was thrown out of the vehicle.

The Post newspaper, an appendage of the PF has also published an article in which it quotes anonymous police officers who confirm that Menyani Zulu was pushed out of the Toyota Hilux van by fellow PF cadres.

Opposition party members were nowhere near this incident. It is alleged that the PF were attacked by UPND members. The truth is that it was the villagers from Rufunsa who fought the PF cadres as they were distributing luxuries to would be voters.

Many people are aware that it was Kaizer Zulu who led the youths to Rufunsa with the sole purpose of brutalizing critics of the PF. Kaizer Zulu was a pauper when the PF was in the opposition. However, today Kaizer Zulu has the audacity to brag that he is a rich man.

People have not forgotten that Kaizer Zulu used to move about in ripped pairs of trousers and walking very long distances because he could not afford decent clothes and hiking transport even on the cheapest mini bus drive in Lusaka. It is surprising that within a year of the PF in power, Kaizer Zulu is wearing expensive designer outfits and driving expensive cars.

Some questions arise regarding the death of Menyani Zulu. What was he doing in Rufunsa when he is a known Lusaka resident? This goes to prove that the PF is fond of ferrying cadres from other places into regions that are hosting by-elections. They have often denied this allegation, but the death of Zulu has re-emptied their tricks and it is a lesson they must learn.

Let the soul of Menyani Zulu rest in peace (if it all it can) because the PF has learnt a lesson from the incident. The PF and Michael Sata must stop brutalizing opponents.

Rather, they must focus on serving the people whom they owe a lot of things to deliver.

Comments are closed.