Police and UPND cadres clashed today during the funeral procession of UPND Munali Constituency Chairperson Grayzer Matapa. Mr Graizer Matapa was last weekend brutally blungeoned to death with knives and screw drivers by suspected PF cadres in Lusaka’s Mtendere Township.
The chaos ensued after heavily armed Police instructed the UPND cadres who were carrying the casket on their shoulders from Ambassador St Annes to put it on a vehicle, a suggestion the cadres rejected sparking the confrontation.The Police then fired tear gas at the mourners and the casket of the late Matapa was damaged in the ensuing fracas.
A new coffin had to be bought in which to bury the slain UPND member.
The late Matapa has since been put to rest at Leopards Hill Memorial Park. UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was among the mourners.
And the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has described the clashes involving Police and UPND cadres carrying the coffin of the late Matapa as a distressing.YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza says the police should have read the mood the UPND were in considering that they were mourning.
Mr Mwanza said it does not matter whether the cadres carried the coffin on their shoulders or in a vehicle.Mr. Mwanza stated that it is unfortunate that the Police went ahead and did the unthinkable disrespecting the dead.He said the move by the Police was provocative and that they should desist from engaging in such taboos in the future.
Mr. Mwanza has since appealed to the Police command to ensure that they do not allow police officers to engage in provocative situations in a bid to promote peace and order in the country.
The UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in a statement earlier this week accused the Police of shielding the PF cadres who murdered Mr.Matapa.