POLICE in Kasama have arrested three people following a clash between supporters of former Defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba and civil rights activist Kelvin Sampa that left some with minor injuries.
Mr Mwamba’s supporters in more than 20 vehicles went round the central business district honking and said they would issue a statement to voice their apparent displeasure over Mr Sampa’s charity work in Kasama.
The group claimed the donations were not in good faith and were actually an undercover campaign for the Kasama Central parliamentary seat an accusation Mr Sampa vehemently denied.
Mr Sampa who has for some time now been working with the underprivileged in Kasama and making monetary and material donations to various causes denied campaigning for political office.
“My coming here to work has nothing political attached to it. I have worked in other areas of the country and have never experienced what I have gone through here today,” he said shortly after leaving the police station.
The confrontation between the two groups came to a head after Mr Mwamba’s supporters allegedly blocked Mr Sampa’s motorcade which was on its way to Chilubula Mission.
Occupants of a grey Toyota Prado that was part of Mr Sampa’s entourage where slapped by a growing mob as police officers forcibly directed the driver of the car to go to the police station.
A spokesperson of the pro-Mwamba group Jack Simutenda, however, gave a different version of events alleging Mr Sampa’s group attacked his first.
“We wanted to go to the police so they could allow us to ask what Mr Sampa is doing going round Kasama donating staff with his branded cars. Is he campaigning? We want to know,” Mr Mwamba’s supporters screamed at the police station.
Police clad in full riot gear rushed in to prevent the situation from deteriorating into a full scale riot as members of the public scampered for safety away from the commotion.
In the aftermath of the confusion, Mr Sampa said in an interview that he met Mr Mwamba, whom he referred to as his elder brother, at a funeral in Lusaka where the latter encouraged him to continue with his spirit of helping the underprivileged.
“Am surprised that today, people claiming to be supporters of Mr Mwamba could block my motorcade and cause such havoc as witnessed today. I have come to help the needy in an area I hail from. This is my home. For him (Mr Mwamba) to encourage me to continue with my work then just see his supporters do what they did today is like someone eating their own vomit,” Mr Sampa said.
He also denied challenging Mr Mwamba for his parliamentary seat. “I can contest for public office if the people want me but I want to make it clear that I have challenged my brother GBM politically
“How can I contest a seat which is not vacant?” he added.
He however, vowed to continue with his work with the community and no form of intimidation would prevent him from working with the vulnerable. “If helping the needy is wrong then I am 110 per cent in the wrong.”
Deputy police chief Milner Muyambango said he would issue a comprehensive statement when his officers had wrapped up the report.