President Edgar Lungu has said that reports of violence recorded on Tuesday in Southern Province are a clear reason why the country needs the Public Order Act to govern people’s behavior.
President Lungu said that there would be chaos in the country in the absence of the Public Order Act.
The Head of State said such incidences should be condemned by all well meaning Zambians.
President Lungu said that people should be free to belong to any political party of their choice because Zambia is a democratic country.
He was speaking in an interview with journalists at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport upon arrival from his tour of Eastern Province.
Yesterday, a total of 21 suspected United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres in Choma have been apprehended by the Police following a riot that occurred on Tuesday.
Deputy Inspector General of Police –Administration Eugene Sibote who confirmed the arrests yesterday said the Police had also impounded a Toyota Corolla Registration number AJB 4809 which was used by three cadres to cause commotion during the confusion.
Deputy IG said the UPND cadres that had gathered on the Choma-Livingstone main road in anticipation to receive their party president Hakainde Hichilema, blocked traffic , climbed on moving trucks and started throwing stones at passing motor vehicles which resulted in three of them including a Police Land Cruiser ZP 2312B being damaged.
“In trying to restore order, three police officers sustained injuries after being stoned by the rioters. Arising from the unruly and riotous behavior, police used tear gas to disperse the cadres,” Mr Sibote said.
Mr Sibote condemned the conduct of the UPND cadres and warned that the Police would not condone any acts of violence.
The conduct by UPND cadres as witnessed in Choma shall not be condoned and for this reason, all the apprehended suspects will be taken to court and prosecuted for their involvement in the riotous activity.
“It is unfortunate that the UPND leadership could not restrain their cadres even after having assured the Police Command that they would always abide by the provisions of the Public Order Act,” he said.
He has since called upon all political leaders to ensure that they prevail on the conduct of their cadres even as they notify Police of their intentions to hold political activities.
The Police and some UPND cadres clashed in Choma.