SUSPECTED PF cadres in Chilanga’s Chimanja ward today attacked UPND candidate in the June 5 by-election Charmaine Musonda, injuring four members of her campaign team.
However, the PF says the allegations were “unsubstantiated”.
Musonda explained that a young man known as Augustine Zulu commanded the attack.
She said the windscreen of her vehicle, a Ford Ranger, was smashed in the process.
Musonda has since reported the matter to Villa Lucia police post.
“We were attacked while distributing material in Chimanja ward by the PF and their notorious gang leader from Kayama, Augustine Zulu, aka Oga. They have damaged one of our vehicles. I was hit with a stone on my back and four of my youths have been injured. We have reported the matter to villa Lucia police Post,” said Musonda.
But PF media director Sunday Chanda dismissed the allegation and maintained that the PF reaffirmed its commitment to issue-based and peaceful campaigns.
“Against unsubstantiated allegations from Chimanja Ward, the membership of the Patriotic Front remains guided by the direction given by President Edgar Lungu and campaign manager for the Chilanga by-election Hon Jean Kapata that they must not involve themselves in any form of violence and must report any such incidences of violence to the Zambia Police. No PF member is expected to take the law in their own hands,” Chanda said.
He said his party had no portion in the UPND’s “Panga for Panga” strategy announced by the opposition party’s vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM).
“Once again, PF reaffirms its commitment to issue-based and peaceful campaigns,” said Chanda.
However, GBM has told UPND cadres to maintain peace in the campaigns.
He said in an interview after attending a Church service at St Mary’s Assumption Parish in Chilanga this morning that the UPND senior leadership would not condone its members who would be found perpetrating violence in the constituency.
Reminded that he was on record that it would be “panga for panga” during campaigns, GBM contextualised his statement.
“We have spoken to our youth at length and we’ve told them that we don’t want any form of violence whatsoever, except we’ve said in case you are attacked, the way I was attacked in Shiwang’andu-Chinsali, defend yourselves,” said GBM.
“But we are not encouraging or allowing any of our members to be part of any form of violence – we don’t want that. We want this to be a very peaceful election.”