MMD leader Nevers says he will continue mobilising his party whether police block him or not.
And Eastern Province police commissioner Luckson Sakala says police cancelled the MMD meeting in Vubwi district on Sunday due to security reasons.
Commenting on the police move to stop his meeting in Vubwi, Mumba said he does not cause any security threat.
“You are aware that we started off with this trip to Eastern Province to launch our campaign for mobilisation and it’s the programme that I launched in Lusaka and now we are launching it in provinces. We started off with Eastern Province, we launched it in Chipata Central now we were on our way to Vubwi (o Sunday) and when we were 13 kilometres away from Vubwi, the police were there with their guns and they blocked us. They told us that they had cancelled our permit and they had scattered our people and we could not have a meeting. We asked them for the reason, they said because the President is coming on Tuesday. So we said what has it got to do with a meeting in Vubwi? So that’s really what happened, they came with their guns, the teargas and it was very ugly but there was no need for that. Look! That was very, very bad and I felt very bad for my country and felt that MMD should not have left government, we should have continued with the democracy that we were exercising,” he said.
Mumba said there was absolutely no democracy in Zambia going by what was happening.
“These events happening in Eastern Province are going to have a direct bearing on whether the elections in 2021 will be free and fair. I think these events happening like the registration of voters, stopping us from mobilising our political parties, this is a true confirmation that the election next year is a compromised one and we must submit a dispute right now unless these things change. We must also ensure that we declare that the elections are not going to be free and fair now,” he said.
Mumba said he was scheduled to hold meetings in Lumezi, Lundazi and Chasefu on Monday and that police officers surrounded the venues.
“Our people are gathered in all these places, the police have surrounded all those towns with guns and are in riot gear. They have sent officers from Office of the President, they are all along the way. I had to abandon my official vehicle in order for them not to recognise my car so that they don’t stop me. We are working like we are in a war situation…. They may mistreat me because I am an opposition leader but I think they have the obligation to respect a former vice-president, it is their obligation. It is not only for Nevers Mumba but for the coming vice-presidents, there must be respect for them,” he said.
Mumba said the police should put their energy fighting criminals and not people like him.
“They have put people on alert so that I don’t address a single meeting. Listen they have told us that they are very popular as PF and ‘Nevers and his MMD are not popular, people don’t want them they only want the PF’. And these are the questions I have; why they are so jittery whenever we want to hold meetings. I demand that they unlock the towns so that we can continue talking to our members otherwise we have to declare now that the elections coming, the Zambians must refuse to accept the results because it has been tampered with by these activities and actions. This will be my crusade for the next number of months,” he said.
Mumba said the opposition should be allowed to mobilise just like the ruling party was doing.
“The reason I am fighting is because when Mr Sata was President, they stopped me from having any meeting anywhere, whether it was in Eastern Province, they arrested me and put me in jail, in Northern Province, Western Province they did that. When we lost the elections they said, Nevers is not popular, no one knows him. How can I be popular if I am not speaking to the people who vote? And this time I am not going to allow this to happen. If they want me to be a sacrificial lamb that they want to do something to me so that democracy can be seen in this country, I offer myself as a sacrificial lamb but I will not stop to fight for the freedoms and the liberties of our country. We shall campaign whether they allow us or not, this is our country and this democracy, it’s MMD which brought it,” said Mumba.
And Sakala said police in Vubwi told Mumba and his group that their notification to hold a meeting had been cancelled for security reasons.
He said the guns and the tear smoke that the police had in Vubwi were part of the enforcement of security but did not mean that they wanted to shoot anyone.