Inspector General Of Police Stella Libongani has condemned UPND supporters in Solwezi for the violence that occurred yesterday between 16hrs and 21hrs.
Riots broke out in Manyama area in Solwezi after Police descended on UPND members who were attending the party’s final rally ahead of today’s parliamentary by election.Onlookers narrated how police in full riot gear descended on the UPND members and started beating up for attending rally which they claimed was illegal.Police told UPND not to conduct the rally at Manyama Basic School grounds in Kalumbila on account of lack of prior notice.The residents took offence and fought running battles with the Police who kept on firing teargas canisters.
I.G Libongani said 21 people were apprehended and are currently in custody.
Below is the Full Press statement
STATEMENT ON THE INCIDENT WHICH HAPPENED IN SOLWEZI WEST
The situation in Solwezi West and Lubensenshi is quiet and voting is going on smoothly. Police are continuing with operations in both constituencies in order to ensure that the remaining period is well policed. The officers will also monitor the movement of ballot boxes to the totaling centers until the whole process is over.
However, the Zambia Police Service would like to condemn the conduct of the UPND cadres for turning riotous after being advised by officers and school management not to conduct a rally at Manyama Basic School grounds in Kalumbila on account of lack of prior notice.
Instead of adhering to Police advice, the cadres started throwing stones, blocked the road as well as smashing police equipment that was in the nearby Police Post. This act left two police officers with head injuries forcing the Police to use tear gas in order to disperse the riotous cadres.
As a result, 21 people were apprehended and are currently in custody and will be charged accordingly.
This happened on 23rd September 2015 between 16 and 21:00 hours.
Apart from the two officers who were injured by the cadres, the police have not received any other report of injury or fatality as a result of the incident.
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
24th September, 2015