Zambia Police has said that the Police received four cases of Assault OABH which occurred today on 24th June 2017 around 13:00 hours at memorial park in a confusion between UPND and PF cadres. The names of the victims are Hambote Christopher of chalala, Arnold spatula of unknown residence, Mulungu Jones of Salama Park and Samoa Davies of chalala. All victims sustained head injuries and have since been issued with medical reports. The incident happened when suspected UPND and PF Cadres who were burying their party members started exchanging insults which later resulted into a fight.
According to the Police Report released to the media by Police spokesperson Esther Katongo, the first incidence happened on the northern side of memorial park where PF Cadres were burying their member. Police officers were called in but both UPND and PF cadres were accusing each other to have provoked the situation.
Mrs Katongo said that the second incidence happened when PF Cadres approached memorial park from the wall fence separating memorial park and Old leopard hill cemetery, where UPND members were awaiting the body of their member. The PF cadres started throwing stones at UPND cadres which led to another confusion. A lot of people who had their programs at memorial park got caught up in the fracas. In the process , one motor vehicle belonging to PF was set ablaze.
The Police concluded the statement by saying that they will follow up with information as officers are still on the ground.
Earlier there were reports that unruly PF cadres this afternoon stormed Leopards Memorial Park in Lusaka and beat up several mourners attending the burial of outspoken UPND cadre Clance Zulu.
Mourners and some UPND members sustained serious injuries and were being nursed at UTH after allegedly being brutally battered by PF cadres.
Eight are reportedly battling for their lives in UTH while one is reported to have died although there is no independent confirmation of the fatality.
Family members and pall bearers were forced to briefly abandon the casket and run for their safety as the PF cadres went on rampage attacking them.
Some of the PF cadres were heard shouting that they will not allow the UPND to have a rally at the cemetery.
But PF Media Director Sunday Chanda has denied that the PF cadres attacked the mourners.
He said the incident happened after PF cadres who went to bury their own deceased member clashed with their UPND cadres.
Below is the PF statement
CONTRARY TO MEDIA REPORTS, PF YOUTHS WENT TO BURY AN OFFICIAL FROM CHAWAMA CONSTITUENCY
Lusaka, Zambia, 24TH June 2017 – The regrettable events from Lusaka’s Memorial Park where youths from the Patriotic Front (PF) and Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) clashed is regrettable. No one from either camp should seek cheap glory out of this unfortunate incident and as such we are calling on our colleagues preach restraint to their members in the same manner that we are doing as PF.
Contrary to the incorrect and lopsided version being spread by the UPND. Information reaching us indicates that burial for a deceased PF member coincided with that of the UPND’s member. Both the deceased were to be put to rest at memorial park. PF went to put to rest a deceased PF member, Mr. Amos Chilufya, the husband to our Chairlady for New Soweto Market while the UPND was burying their deceased member, Clance Zulu. These departed colleagues deserved to be sent off in peace.
The PF condemns all forms of violence and continues to call on its membership across the country to exercise maximum restraint even under intense provocation. As stated by the Party’s Deputy Secretary General Hon Mumbi Phiri, the Party will not condone any form of violence as the era of machetes went with those that had already defected from the PF and now belonged to the Opposition. As the collective, we all have a duty to co-exist and celebrate our political diversity. We must all reflect on the important words of Mahatma Gandhi that “an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth) only ends up making the whole world blind”.
Lastly, we wish to send out a clear message to the body politic that while we can have sharp disagreements, we can conduct our politics without becoming personally disagreeable. PF condemns all forms of violence irrespective of who the perpetrators are. It is high time we viewed each other as competitors and not enemies. This is the Zambia we in the PF seek to build for present and future generations.
Sunday Chanda, Media Director – Patriotic Front