POLICE in Mongu on Friday blocked MMD from holding an indoor meeting of provincial party leaders and ordinary members which was supposed to be addressed by vice-president for political affairs Michael Kaingu.
Dr. Kaingu expressed concern at the police decision claiming there were no reasons given for disallowing the meeting from proceeding.
But Western Province police commissioner Fanwell Siandenge cited ‘security concerns’ as the reason for disallowing the meeting from proceeding as scheduled.
He said in an interview yesterday that on the day the MMD meeting was scheduled to take place, Barotse activists detained in Kaoma were also appealing in court for trial on a charge of conduct likely to breach the peace.
“We received a notification from the MMD about the meeting,” Mr Siandenge said. “But we had to look at the security of the place. On that very day, the people we have detained (Barotse activists) were in court for trial.”
He described the situation in Mongu as ‘volatile’, hence the reason police could not risk making matters worse, plus the notice was short.
“They notified us three days before the intended meeting. The law states that we should be notified seven days before. Also, because of the time factor, we could not allow the meeting to take place,” he said.
Dr Kaingu said the meeting was planned for him to interact with party members in the province.
“The provincial leadership organised an indoor meeting so that I could go and greet our members but we received information that the police will not entertain our meeting,” he said.
Dr Kaingu said it is surprising that the Patriotic Front (PF) was allowed to hold a meeting on Sunday in Chilanga where some 300 MMD members defected to the ruling party.