LAZ writes Kanganja, condemns PF thuggery

THE Law Association of Zambia says it will write Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to institute investigations into the thuggery behaviour of suspected PF cadres who disrupted an intellectual public discussion on bill 10.

Meanwhile, opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili fears that if the “unbecoming” violence of the PF persists, Zambia will turn into a bloodbath.

In its continued defence of the ill-reputed Bill No.10 of 2019, the ruling PF resorted to its violence toolkit on Monday evening.

Ruffians, led by Lusaka Province PF youth chairman Daniel Kalembe and Eastern Province PF youth chairman Emmanuel Jay Banda, descended on Hotel InterContinental in Lusaka and disrupted a public discussion on the contentious Constitution (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019.

The public discussion, themed ‘Bill 10: the lawyer’s perspective’, was sponsored by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and featured lawyers-cum-politicians on the panel.

In an interview yesterday, LAZ president Eddie Mwitwa regretted that the public discussion ended prematurely due to political thuggery.

He called on all peace-loving Zambians who witnessed what happened on Monday to join the LAZ in demanding that perpetrators get punished.

“It’s very regrettable that we had to witness that, especially that it was even beamed live on Prime TV and social media as well as some radio stations. As the Law Association of Zambia, we condemn that thuggery and behaviour in the strongest terms possible,” Mwitwa said.

“There was violence and I personally witnessed somebody who was drenched in blood. Young ladies were being kicked for no reason at all. There is no excuse whatsoever that can be given to justify that behaviour.”

He indicated that while LAZ could not speculate where “those thugs” came from, it was quite clear that they were “sent by somebody”.

“Information that we’ve received so far indicates that they came in two buses. We’ll be writing to the Inspector General of Police to institute investigations into the matter because there’s sufficient video footage to identify some of the perpetrators of that thuggery and violence,” Mwitwa said.

“It should never be accepted and tolerated in a democratic space. We have a constitutional right to enjoy freedom of expression and assembly and no one has the right to take that away, without lawful justification.”

He underscored that the political assailants clearly went to the hotel with a purpose “to disturb, to intimidate.”

“We believe that they were sent by somebody. The police were overwhelmed; we only had two police officers that were assigned to the event,” said Mwitwa.

Meanwhile Kambwili said when the PF cadres entered the auditorium, he already knew what they were there for.

“But this is the party in government that can go and disturb a very civil, well intended gathering! What PF did is unacceptable and that’s why I’m saying if Zambians don’t rise to this unbecoming behaviour by PF, this country is going to be turned into a bloodbath,” said Kambwili at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the behaviour of PF cadres at InterContinental Hotel last night. I appeal to President Edgar Lungu, secretary general [Davies] Mwila and all senior members of PF, Zambia doesn’t deserve this.”

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