Every organisation is identified by a set of characteristics that sets it apart and unique from the others. Its out of those characteristics that a profound impression or perception is formed either of love, respect, intergrity and honour or hate, derision and sheer contempt.
The Zambian Army despite undue political strain by successive Governmemts, has largely kept its reputation and traditional military values passed on from the British norms based on the sanctity of discipline, as intact as possible.
The Zambian Airforce hasn’t been as successful in this area of public perception as their counterparts in the Army, but that’s a story for another day.
The Zambian Police image problems can possibly be traced from top to bottom and can be derived from the way commanders essentially balance the ‘Three Ps’ theory or principle. The ‘Three Ps’ are the Politician, the Public and the Police and any commander worthy his salt and proffessional training will strive to balance this delicate act of sieving the unique needs of Politicians, of loving and respecting the civil Populations you have sworn to serve, and lastly ensuring that the Police as an organization is oiled efficiently, staffed adequately, trained with modern techniques and skills, and motivated as much as possible.
Without understanding the above basic principles of the Three Ps, a commander’s career is on the rocks and is headed for the abyss while the Police as an entity becomes orphaned and its reputation suffers irreparably.
At this jucture, it would be appropriate to bring into focus one Police commander that succeeded to a large degree in harmonizing the Three Ps. Inspector General of Police Ephraim Mateyo was instrumental in shaping the image of the Police by applying a fairly balanced power play between the Politicians the Public and the Police. Politicians were correctly, and fearlessly counselled as to which lines they couldn’t cross, and so cadreism, cronyism and political violence was kept to the barest minimum.
Inspector General Mateyo interacted tirelessly and passionately with the general population. He would be seen taking part in a traditional dance at a school of mentally challenged learners, visiting an old peoples’ home in Matero and playing soccer with his officers on a free weekend.
All the above is now sweet water under the bridge and into the Indian Ocean. Our Police image under Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja has suffered a severe battering and no department in the organization has been spared. One doesn’t have to look far than review the testimonies of Police arresting officers in the botched up treason trial of UPND President Hakainde Hichilema, the drunken armed Police officer that dangerously accosted MP Gary Nkombo, the midnight blitzkrieg raid by heavily armed masked police at HH’s private and family residence, the surrounding and sealing of a holy and sacred place of worship by Police with dogs and the list is endless. Of course we would never want to bring into discussion our infamous traffic police because that’s another topic that requires psychological in-depth analysis by a qualified criminologist.
In conclusion, the Police under Kakoma Kanganja are in a total shameful shambles, and the best and honourable thing to do if he has no courage to volunteer a resignation, is to feign a sickness and retire. He has been a living disaster!