UPND cadres yesterday harassed a Zambia Daily Mail reporter who had gone to cover a press briefing at the party secretariat.
Nancy Siame was assigned to cover the press briefing which was scheduled to be addressed by party president Hakainde Hichilema at 13:30 hours but was later cancelled.
“When I reached the secretariat, I was told by Mr Charles Kakoma, the UPND spokesperson, that the briefing had been cancelled,” she said.
Ms Siame said she then went outside to call for transport from the office and as she was making a call, some cadres who were mobilising themselves in readiness to get on a bus followed her and interrogated her.
She said the cadres inquired who she was calling and why she was at their premises.
“Before I could speak, several cadres surrounded me and started harassing me. They tore my handbag and tried to grab my purse. They grabbed my phone, a blackberry, and scrolled through to check who I was calling,” Ms Siame said.
She said the cadres accused her of being a spy sent by the PF and efforts by the reporter to explain her mission at the premises were not entertained.
Ms Siame said the cadres dragged her and threatened to beat her but was rescued by Mr Kakoma.
Mr Kakoma retrieved her phone from the cadres and escorted her to the Zambia Daily Mail-branded vehicle, which the cadres threatened to destroy.
“I was gripped with fear and in the struggle to protect my purse from being stolen, two of my nails were broken and I sustained slight injuries,” she said.
Ms Siame said the cadres warned that they would deal with any journalist from the Daily Mail or any public media.
She reported the matter to police.
And when contacted for a comment, Mr Kakoma confirmed the incident and apologised on behalf of the UPND, saying Ms Siame was mistaken for a PF cadre.