DEPUTY Minister in the Office of the Vice President Stephen Kampyongo has charged that the UPND has resorted to violence in Mulobezi because it has sensed that it is losing grip in Western Province.
Commenting on the violence that happened in Mulobezi recently, Kapyongo who is also Vice Campaign Manager for Petauke Central said the UPND has lost grip of Western Province as well as the confidence of people in that area.
“They know that people have lost confidence in them and their leadership, so they have resorted to violence,” he said.
Mr Kapyongo said UPND is known for violence whenever elections were held in places where they enjoy some support like what happened in Mapatizya constituency.
He said Malambo and Petauke Central constituencies have not recorded any violence because the UPND are not enjoying any support there hence violence free campaign.
“In Chawama, Masaiti and Senga Hill we had no violence because they have no support there,” he said.
Mr Kampyongo said the UPND is scared to lose the Mulobezi seat but that there is nothing they can do as the people no longer trust in their leadership.
Recently, Patriotic Front secretary-general Davies Chama and his entourage was attached as they were driving to the campaign centre in Mulobezi.
The thugs who were clad in United Party for National Development (UPND) regalia attacked Mr Chama and his team with knives and machetes but his bodyguard shot at one of them before they scampered.
One of the cadres was apprehended and taken to Mulobezi Police Station before being taken to a rural health centre for treatment.
And Mr Chama condemned the violence being perpetrated by the suspected UPND cadres despite their party leadership promising free and fair campaigns.
He said it is disappointing for UPND party cadres to engage in campaigns of intimidation, which is a threat to peace and unity during campaigns.
Mr Chama called on all political parties participating in the Mulobezi by-election to engage in peaceful campaigns.
Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani condemned the violence being perpetuated by suspected UPND cadres.
Mrs Libongani, however, assured that her office would deploy more officers to police the area.
The election of UPND’s Hastings Sililo was nullified by the courts of law following electoral malpractice.
The PF has adopted Patricia Mulasikwanda in Mulobezi while the UPND is fielding Mr Sililo.
UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo said the party will not protect any cadre perpetuating violence ahead of Mulobezi by-election.
Mr Lifwekelo said the UPND is very clear on its message on violence, adding it will not protect any cadre who will be found wanting.
“The party detests violence as it damages its image. We will not protect anyone and police should prosecute anyone found wanting,” he said.
Mr Lifwekelo also stressed the need for all political parties to embrace each other as brothers and sisters so that there can be free and fair campaigns.