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Police officer demoted over Facebook post

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REPRIMANDED— Kaponda

By Isaac Salima:

Nkhotakota Police Station spokesperson Sub Inspector Williams Kaponda has been demoted to general duties and eventually redeployed to a police unit in Kasungu over a comment he made on his Facebook page.

Kaponda, who has been posted to Ndonda Police Unit, recently, on his Facebook page, seemed to have questioned the current administration for continuing to line up police officers along the road whenever the State President has official engagements.

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In a post, which has reportedly landed him in trouble, Kaponda wrote: “Dear God, akumbutseni anatiuza tidzasiya kuyalana m’misewu akamadutsa [remind them of their promise to stop lining us up along roads]”.

National police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the development, saying they do not tolerate indiscipline among officers.

“I can confirm that Kaponda has been reversed to general duties and posted to one police unit. We do not tolerate indiscipline within the service. What we want are professional and well behaved officers,” Kadadzera said.

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Kaponda was not available Sunday for a comment.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Consultative Committee Chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba has condemned authorities for the decision.

“It is an unfortunate decision because we seem to be taking one step forward and two steps backward. Every person has a right to express themselves freely. Facebook and WhatsApp pages are private.

“However it was not expected of a police officer to make such a comment through social media but it was a matter that should have been discussed,” Mkwezalamba said.

Kaponda is among law enforcers that have been transferred to police stations and units across the country.

Prior to the presidential election on June 23 this year, President Lazarus Chakwera spoke against the practice of lining police officers along the road for hours on end as they wait for the President’s motorcade to pass by.

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