Police in Mansa have arrested United Party for National Development (UPND) Deputy National Youth Chairperson, Mr. Stephen Chikota, and 19 others.
Mr. Chikota has been accused of organizing a group that caused damage to a police car and public property and has been released on police bond pending a court appearance.
Mr. Chikota is accused of among other things damaging a police car, blocking the main road, and holding an illegal protest.
After his press briefing held in Mansa, villagers in the area also dismounted a bridge that connects Chembe to Mansa to prevent the investor to haul the illegal ore.
Mr. Chikota has accused certain Ministers and senior government officials he is ready to name of engaging in corruption and aiding an investor who has an exploration license to illegally mine copper, cobalt, and a rare mineral called Sugilite.
Meanwhile, UPND Deputy National Youth Chairperson-Gender Cindy Kauka has said that Chikota’s position on the foreigners doing business with senior party members at the cost of many skilled suffering youths is commendable.
In a statement released to the media in support of Mr Chikota, Ms Kauka said that the Youths of this country cannot be underrated anymore, and that it’s high time everyone realizes that youths posses the right skill sets to manage these small projects and many others.
“We cannot be treated as though we are outcasts in our own country, we will not tolerate the old behavior of abusing young people.
“To this effect, we are coming to the police station where CHIKOTA has been detained, we will not leave until we know why he has been arrested and who sent the Indian foreigners to do businesses which are meant for the local youths.
“To you our top leaders protecting these foreign nationals, choose whose interests you represent, is it for the local youths or Indian foreigners”, she asked
“We the youths are a strong force and we can assure you that it’s just a matter of time before we react. We cannot be suffering because of a few Ministers who at no point sacrificed an arm and leg, ” concluded the statement.
And UPND National Youth Chairman Gilbert Liswaniso has said that the UPND youth leadership remains resolute to engage the police in a bid to maintain law and order in the country.
Mr. Liswaniso said with the new dawn administration it is a collective responsibility to rebuild and reunite Zambia.
Speaking in an interview with Journalists, in an apparent reference to a viral video of his deputy in charge of administration Stephen Chikota taunting police officers manning an area with minerals in Chembe district of Luapula Province.
Mr. Liswaniso in appreciating the situation said the youth leadership style is that of engagement but without emotions attached.
“Like l always say youths are going through counseling and they need to be handled well following a political hostile and running battles with the police. I can tell you that youths hate so much illegality and are learning to handle issues now that they are in the ruling party, guide us we are ready to learn from you” he said.
But Mr Liswaniso was quick to mention that as per directive by President Hakainde Hichilema, the new dawn administration is there to serve the Zambian people and empower all citizens.
“It will not sit well that we should be going against the presidential directive. My appeal, especially to all the UPND youth leaders across the country, is that regardless of how charged and irritated about an issue, let us continue to engage in a peaceful manner” he counseled.
“I wish to assure the Zambian people that all the UPND youths and the leaders are there for the party and Zambia to build peace and unity.Let us work together” Mr. Liswaniso said.