OUR country has fast degenerated into a gun culture society brought by the PF, says UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
He said President Edgar Lungu is a thread to democracy.
Drumming up support for UPND’s Austin Muneku for Kaoma Council chairperson by-election set for tomorrow, Hichilema said a wound against one Zambian by the PF thugs, “is a wound against all of us.”
“Fear not, your vote is your weapon to kick out the corrupt and violent unruly PF thugs led by Mr Edgar Lungu. If they come to attack you physically, kindly defend yourselves because that is the only language they understand,” he told Kaoma residents on Monday. “Our country has fast degenerated into a gun culture society brought by the PF but they must remember that if one lives by the sword, they will die by the sword. We hate violence and seeing citizens being killed by the PF-funded militia groups. As commander of our party, I will not sit silently while PF lie to the Zambians.”
Hichilema said no citizen should be cheated by the PF lies that they were Christians because if they were, they would not be killing others.
“Typically, the PF has continued asking citizens to close their eyes in prayer while they steal public resources and kill in cold blood but not anymore. If it means any of you who trust us to deliver development to remain with one eye watching over their evils, then be it so,” Hichilema said. “And remember: the darkest hour comes before dawn and no one should stop any citizen from enjoying their democratic rights. Always remember that a wound against one Zambian by the PF thugs, is a wound against all of us…. Bana ba Kaoma, your vote, your power. Vote UPND, vote Austin Muneku for Kaoma Council Chairperson.”
Later via twitter, Hichilema said he was grateful for the warm welcome from the people of Kaoma.
“We owe them a clean and non-violent campaign,” Hichilema said. “We paid a courtesy call on Senior Chief Amukena and chief Mwene Mutondo here in Western Province in the company of our party officials. We sought wise counsel from our traditional leadership who are the custodians of our culture and value system. We assured our traditional leader of a safe and stable Zambia under responsible leadership of the UPND. He was appalled at the hate and violence witnessed, as we committed to a non-violent campaign.”
At 09:00 hours yesterday, Hichilema tweeted that the police were blocking his campaign team in Kaoma.
“Under instructions from the PF, heavily armed police are blocking us from heading to our campaign areas approved by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.@EdgarCLungu is a thread to democracy and aims to provoke us while we conduct a clean and peaceful campaign. The PF know that they can’t beat us on an even, fair playing field. They have resorted to intimidation, violence and abuse of the police. This is not the country our forefathers fought for. #Zambia,” stressed Hichilema. “The PF are splashing enormous amounts of cash in Kaoma in addition to the government resources at their disposal. Where they get all that money from is anyone’s guess but we urge you to take it but vote with your conscience.”
On Sunday, Western Province police commissioner Charles Lungu said a UPND supporter had been arrested for allegedly shooting and injuring PF cadres. The two camps clashed while campaigning ahead of Thursday’s Kaoma Town Council chairperson by-election.
“Two convoys from different directions met, the UPND convoy stopped and the cadres charged at PF supporters and in the process one person from the UPND camp got out of the vehicle, fired shots and injured two people,” said Lungu. “Others were beaten in the process and four are in hospital receiving treatment.”
But on Monday police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo issued a contradicting statement on what transpired in Kaoma.
She said as police officers were attending a briefing at Kaoma Trades School organized by the Electoral Commission of Zambia, they received information from concerned citizens that there were some gunshots heard and immediately officers were dispatched to verify the information.
“It then came to the attention of the officers that supporters of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and those of the Patriotic Front had clashed in Site and Service area in Kaoma,” Katongo said. “When officers reached the scene, they found a man in his 40s laying on the ground in a pool of blood, with a ladies’ handbag by his side. Officers picked him and rushed him to Kaoma District Hospital for medical attention but later died in the process of evacuating him to UTH. Initial investigations revealed that suspected UPND cadres who were on a UPND branded motor vehicle had attacked people believed to be Patriotic Front cadres who were in a white Toyota Hilux using stones which led to the one of the occupants identified as female Namataa Lubasi Brumo aged 51 of Yeta Compound also a District PF chairlady of Mongu to jump off the motor vehicle in an attempt to run to safety.”
She said it was reported that Namataa was followed by unknown suspected UPND cadre only identified by his nickname Gadhafi who gave chase and grabbed her handbag but Namataa managed to run to safety.
“It is alleged that one occupant on a white Toyota Hilux pulled out a pistol and shot at Gadhafi who died in the process of evacuation to UTH. Another report was received in which Mbololwa Nayoya aged 51 of Mongu, a suspected member of the Patriotic Front also of Kapolota Village in Chief Mushemi of Senanga District was assaulted by suspected UPND members and sustained a deep cut on the left side of the head and general body pains as a plank is alleged to have been used in the act and in the same fracas a PF Toyota Hilux had its wind screen shattered,” Katongo said. “This occurred yesterday 06th October, 2019 at about 1100 hours when members of the Patriotic Front were issuing out some campaign material and some food stuffs to their members and this raised suspicions among the UPND who suspected them to have been buying votes. In the same fracas, a male adult identified as Joseph Muzaza of Mulambwa Compound in Kaoma believed to be a Patriotic Front cadre was also assaulted and sustained a deep cut on the left leg. No arrest has been made in this case however investigations have been instituted.”
She said in a separate incidence, two motor vehicles suspected to be carrying PF cadres were alleged to have been pursuing a UPND district youth chairperson for Kaoma identified as Chola Simwawa aged 38.
Katongo said Simwawa was riding a motor bike in Site and Service area.
“In the process of running to safety, he decided to run into someone’s yard and the motorbike hit into a tree and he fell to the ground. He is alleged to have pulled out a gun (pistol) and fired at the suspected Patriotic Front cadres reported to have been pursuing him and injured one identified as Gift Simangolwa who sustained a bullet wound on the right thigh and right arm. He has been evacuated to UTH,” said Katongo. “Chola Simwawa is currently detained in police custody and a pistol with three rounds of ammunition [was] recovered. Investigations in this matter have continued to bring all perpetrators of the violence to book. Calm has returned in Kaoma as patrols have been intensified in all hotspots.”