The opposition UPND says the group of PF cadres who caused havoc in Shiwang’andu yesterday was hired by a known Minister and his District Commissioner.
UPND Secretary General Stephen Katuka said the savagely acts of alleged PF cadres who attempted to bring down the helicopter would led to lose of life and that the cadres threw all sorts of objects in addition to blocking roads to the meeting.
“When our campaign team arrived in Shiwang’andu, Muchinga Province, yesterday they were confronted with a group of PF thugs hired by a known minister and district commissioner.
“They savagely attempted to bring down the helicopter carrying the UPND team, a situation that could have led to loss of life. They threw all sorts of objects such as pangas and stones, in addition to blocking the roads to our meeting.
“Even when the police, along with our members, managed to quell the situation, they went to light fires at the venue for our meeting with a view to intimidate and provoke,” Mr Katuka said in a statement.
He also reminded the nation of the events in the same district when alleged cadres from the ruling party pursued the former first lady and her counterpart Mutale Nalumango after they tried to hold campaign meetings in the same District
“Many will recall the shocking scenes from Shiwang’andu last January when PF cadres pursued and threw stones at former First Lady Dr. Maureen Mwanawasa and UPND National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango, along with other members of our team. Yesterday these thugs showed themselves to be as barbaric as ever,” he said.
He thanked the police for acting professionally who quickly dispersed the cadres and other institutions should also starting exhibiting such levels of professionalism if the country is to move forward.
“Nevertheless, we would like to recognise the professionalism of the police in the area, who recognised the threat to the safety of our people and acted quickly to disperse the thugs.
“Putting the safety and security of our citizens first, without discriminating on the basis of political affiliation, these police officers demonstrated the kind of behaviour we need to see more of in this country.
“Acting in the interests of the Zambian people as a whole, and not just those who belong to one party, fosters unity and confidence in our public institutions. If only we could see such professionalism and integrity in service across the country, and at other critical institutions such as ZNBC and ZAF, then it would pave the way for free and fair elections that inspire the full confidence of all our citizens,” the statement further said.
Mr Katuka also said President Lungu will be held responsible if he fails to act on yesterday’s violent acts by alleged PF cadres.
“We wish to warn President Lungu that if he fails to take action following such incidents then he will also be held responsible for retaliation as people begin to defend themselves. As President of the PF and the country he must bring such thugs under control. There should be no such things as a ‘no-go’ area during an open, free and fair campaign and there should be no tolerance of thuggery in party or government structures. President Lungu must act now or reveal his lack of sincerity and care for the peace and stability of our nation,” he said.