Monday, August 09, 2010
By Kabanda Chulu and Abigail Chaponda in Kitwe
Mon 09 Aug. 2010, 04:10 CAT
COPPERBELT police chief Antoneil Mutentwa and two other senior officers have been transferred to Lusaka for allegedly failing to prevent the ‘blocking’ of Vice-President George Kunda’s motorcade by the Patriotic Front (PF) in Ndola last week.
But Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde has said the immediate transfers of senior police officers are a normal routine in the police service.
Well placed sources revealed that Mutentwa, together with two of his senior officers Stella Libongani and Danwell Kasonde, had been transferred to Lusaka due to allegations that the trio failed to control PF president Michael Sata and his cadres from ‘blocking’ Vice-President Kunda’s motorcade.
The sources said Mutentwa was moving to Force Headquarters to replace Medical Services director Dr Martin Malama, who was now Copperbelt police chief while Ndola district officer commanding Libongani would be replaced by spokesperson Bonny Kapeso.
The sources said Copperbelt head of criminal investigations Kasonde had also been moved to Lusaka and would be replaced by Mhlakeni Zulu.
“It is very sad that Mr Mutentwa is going to Lusaka to take over from Dr Malama and Dr Malama is taking over from him but this is a way to frustrate him since he will be in charge of medical services, and he is not a medical doctor while other senior officers Libongani and Kasonde are also going to Lusaka though we are not sure the positions they will occupy but Kapeso is taking over from Libongani while Zulu is taking over Kasonde’s place,” the source said.
The sources said in order to make the transfers appear to be routine procedure, Kabonde had indicated that other divisional senior officers would be transferred as well.
“Northern Province commanding officer Charles Lungu is moving and he is going to be replaced by Sam Chewe and Western Province commanding officer Vaels Muzwenga is going to paramilitary and the one to replace him is Mr. Mweemba and Protective Unit commanding officer Mary Tembo is going to Airport Division to swap with Sakubeta Sakubeta,” the source said.
“It is like more transfers will be implemented in order to make it appear routine but what I can tell you is that all this has happened because PF leader Sata blocked the Vice-President and also police operated professionally without getting orders from MMD cadres during the recent Chifubu by-elections.”
But Kabonde in an interview confirmed some changes in the police service although he refused to name the officers who had been transferred.
“I can confirm that there are some people moving because of being transferred and these are normal and routine transfers in the police service but I cannot give you the names of the people and where they are going. As the police, we don’t publicise our transfers. But yes, there are people who are moving,” said Kabonde.
Vice-President Kunda’s motorcade was last week blocked as Sata’s convoy headed to Chifubu grounds, where he was scheduled to hold a rally.