The opposition UPND has announced that the rally which was set for next Saturday has been cancelled by police.
UPND Secretary Genera Stephen Kakuta revealed that the police in Kitwe and the Kitwe city Council have advised the party that it will not be allowed to hold the rally at Freedom Park on Saturday 14th May.
Mr Kakuta said this is despite giving more than one months notice to the authorities.
He said the police said they could not sanction the event because the ECZ has declared that the official campaign period only begins on 16th May.
“This is despite the fact that the PF has held a number of public rallies across the country in recent weeks, from Chipata to Mazabuka. It is clear that the PF have had a free reign from the police in recent months to travel round the country and campaign without obstruction,” Mr Kakuta said.
“Meanwhile, the UPND and fellow opposition parties have had their meetings forcefully and unlawfully disrupted and been prevented from appearing on radio and TV on several occasions. Just earlier this week police stormed Radio Luswepo in Mbala, Muchinga province, to stop a live interview with Matero MP and UDF party leader Miles Sampa.”
He added, “Moreover, the inconsistency with which the police act from town to town is creating a confusing landscape in which trust and clear understanding of the rules is all but impossible. This is the sort of ambiguity and selective application that creates the conditions for impunity and is mirrored in Government’s own flip-flop approach.”
He said, “To the police, who are supposed to be impartial and professional in their conduct, we suggest they spend less time obstructing opposition plans and more time tracking down the criminals responsible for the recent rise in violent attacks, including those who brutalised our members on Youth Day just weeks ago.”
“To the PF, we suggest if they are concerned that the comparison between our rally and theirs will be a great embarrassment for them then perhaps they should look to change their venue to somewhere other than Heroes Stadium. To our supporters and all well-meaning Zambians, while we regret to announce that our rally has been postponed for now we will advise you of the new details shortly,” said Mr Katuka.