Youth celebrations at the National Freedom Statue today were disrupted when opposition Patriotic Front-PF youths carrying a boy on a boat were stopped by police from marching past President Mwanawasa.
Confusion started after several other marchers and three opposition political
parties had made their way past the gathering and the President.
PF youths who were marching ahead of the ruling MMD youths and United Party for
National Development-UPND youths were stopped by police and asked to leave the boat
but refused to do so.
The uncompromising youths then started chanting anti- MMD slogans while shouting at
This drew the attention of the gathering with more police officers reinforced at the
All three speeches from a youth representative Dambire Moyo, the Minister of Sports
as well as that for the President were marred with disruption.
And Home Affairs Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha condemned the behaviour by PF youths
describing it as atrocious.
General Shikapwasha advised youths against being used saying the nation needs peace
and not confusion.
He pointed out that PF youths were not supposed to do as they wished saying carrying
a boat was beyond the required regulations.
He called upon political parties to follow regulations in their moves to avoid
confrontation with police.
Meanwhile, Forum for Leadership Search Country Director, Edwin Lifwekelo said it was
unacceptable for PF youths to behave the way they did.
Lifwekelo said it was clear that someone was using PF youths to embarrass the
President by bringing a boat at the Youth Day celebration.
He said it was unfortunate that the PF youths just came to provoke the peaceful
youth day celebration and urged them to end what he termed as uncalled for behaviour
especially during national events.
Lifwekelo challenged youths to desist from being used and learn to live above
partisan politics saying no one would be happy about what had happened.