‘Lundazi police’s action to teargas our meeting will not stop nor discourage me from going ahead with my vision as a major player in the country’s political arena’’ MMD president Nevers Mumba has declared.
He said the former ruling party was prepared to pay the highest price to bring change to Zambian politics.
Dr Mumba said this after police tear-gassed MMD members at a meeting in Lundazi.
He said the MMD would not be destracted from its programme of reorganising the party at the grassroots because of fear of being intimidated by the police.
“We condemn this barbaric act by an overzealous police officer who was obviously acting under instruction. Our team was tear-gassed while we were having a peaceful meeting in Lundazi.
“My special assistant Clement Chendela Siame was arrested and has spent a night in police cells. We are neither surprised nor discouraged by this stone-age politics,” Dr Mumba said.
He explained that as a party, they were prepared to face any form of intimidation in order to change Zambian politics.
And Zambia Police public relations officer Rae Hamoonga admitted that officers in Lundazi used force after allegedly meeting some resistance in dispersing an illegal political gathering chaired by the MMD president.
Mr Hamoonga said police did not receive any notification of the meeting and efforts to peacefully disperse the crowd failed, compelling the officers to use force.
“The MMD president was in Lundazi where after paying a courtesy call on Chief Magodi decided to hold a political meeting at Gomani Hall without notifying the police.
“And when the police tried to peacefully disperse them, they resisted which made the police use force to disperse the gathering at that meeting,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga explained that police were professionals who were trained to use necessary means of action and that the use of teargas at the MMD meeting must have been ‘‘a necessary evil’’.