Suspected PF cadres yesterday blocked Vice-President George Kunda’s motorcade as he was heading to Ndola International Airport after addressing a campaign rally in Chifubu Township.
And more than five MMD supporters including the daughter of the party’s aspiring candidate Frank Ng’ambi were yesterday beaten by suspected PF
cadres who descended on them after they stopped the vehicle in which they were travelling on Kwacha Road in Ndola.
In Kitwe, suspected PF cadres on Sunday stormed Radio Icengelo with the view of attacking three former Patriotic Front (PF) Secretaries General when they featured on the radio station on Sunday.
In the Ndola incident yesterday, PF cadres who were in a convoy which included a vehicle in which PF leader Michael Sata was travelling disobeyed traffic police orders to stop to give way to the vice-president’s motorcade which was heading northwards to the airport.
A female police officer who tried to block the PF convoy was almost hit by the vehicles.
Copperbelt Minister Mwansa Mbulakulima condemned the development.
Ndola district police commanding officer Stella Libongani said police had received a report and investigations into the matter had been launched.
Mr Mbulakulima said opposition cadres blocked Mr Kunda’s motorcade, which was forced off the road at Ndola Fire Brigade along Nkana road to give way to a convoy of vehicles which included that of PF leader Michael Sata heading southwards to Chifubu.
Mr Mbulakulima, who is MMD Chifubu campaign manager, said it was unfortunate that Ndola had started experiencing some cases of violence after the arrival of Mr Sata, whom he alleged was accompanied by scores of imported cadres.
“It is unacceptable that a good number of people were beaten and vehicles damaged by some PF thugs. Why do we have a situation where some people from outside Ndola are now breaking the law with impunity; after all the parties participating in the elections pledged to see to it that the violence which happened in Mufumbwe does not repeat itself in Chifubu,” he said.
Mr Mbulakulima said as provincial minister, he would see to it that those who had intention to bring chaos in Chifubu would be visited by the law.
He said he would not allow a situation where the electorate was intimidated and harassed before they cast their votes.
He said the MMD would not retaliate despite being provoked because the ruling party does not want to be detracted because victory was certain with or without the intimidation of voters.
But PF campaign manager Willie Nsanda said the problem could have been caused by the fact that the vice-president used the same route to go to the airport when Mr Sata was heading for a rally in Chifubu.
“People were just excited today but I think the incident could have happened due to the fact that the route the vice-president used when going to the airport was the same one used by Mr Sata when coming from the airport,” he said.
Mr Ngambi confirmed that his daughter Lukundo 16, Clement Bweupe, the driver of the vehicle which had MMD campaign posters were rushed to the hospital where they received treatment after being beaten by the PF cadres.
Later, police in Ndola yesterday fired teargas canisters to disperse MMD and PF cadres who fought running battles at Chifubu market after the rallies held in the constituency.
The Times team which rushed to scene found police keeping vigil at Chifubu market as cadres from both sides stonned each other.
Four people were injured in the fracas which started around 18:00 hours. By Press time, cadres from both sides were seen still camped at Chifubu market.
In Kitwe, the cadres allegedly led by Kitwe Deputy Mayor Chileshe Bweupe camped at the entrance to the radio station waiting for the trio to finish the programme.
The trio who confirmed the incident castigated PF cadres and described their behaviour as cowardice.
But when contacted, Mr Nsanda denied having sent the PF cadres to go and attack the trio and said Mr Bweupe went to the radio station to go and place advertisements.
But Mr Edward Mumbi, Edwin Lifwekelo and Charles Chimumbwa who had to be escorted out of the Radio station by police said they had to quickly alert Copperbelt Commanding Officer Antoneil Mutentwa who in turn instructed officers from Riverside Police station to provide escort for them.
Mr Mumbi said it was shameful for the PF cadres to think the three former PF secretaries had no right to go to Radio Icengelo and tell the Zambians why they left the PF.
The three featured on the Radio station where they said they left the PF due to alleged lack of internal democracy and unity of purpose.
[ Times of Zambia ]