One person was murdered in unclear circumstances this afternoon as police attempted to disperse Kanyama residents who were said to have been holding an illegal process at Mbasela Market.
But Esther Mwata-Katongo claimed that Stephen Kalipa, the victim, was stabbed by UPND cadres.
And Katongo says police have arrested two people only from the failed Kanyama UPND rally , and were considering charging them with “unlawful procession”.
The UPND media team reported that over 300 Kanyama residents were randomly picked and arrested by police.
“Zambia Police have brutally beaten hundreds of Kanyama residents who attempted to turn up for the UPND rally in Lusaka. Three hundred people have since been detained and loaded in police trucks and are being ferried to various police stations,” the UPND media team said in a statement.
“UPND youths have begun regrouping with a view of taking over the rally site while demanding that all those arrested be released from cells with immediate effect.”
Mwata-Katongo, the police spokesperson, said it was not true.
She explained, in an interview, that police only arrested two people, one of them being Innocent Kalimashi.
“We have arrested two people, one of them is Innocent Kalimashi, but I haven’t yet been given the particulars of the other one,” Mwata-Katongo explained.
“What happened is that in the morning, we deployed officers there since we said the rally shouldn’t go ahead. Then these two were picked up, they were in a group. It was not a big group of UPND, some of them were even putting on regalia that is close to military uniform. They were going to the same ground were the rally was scheduled to take place.”
She said police were looking for an appropriate charge for the two, adding that “unlawful procession” was a likely charge.
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Meanwhile, police are still keeping vigil at Twashuka grounds in Kanyama where they fired several teargas canisters to repel the UPND supporters from gathering.
Katongo claimed that in the market fracas, one person was stabbed with a knife by UPND cadres and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
She added that another person was assaulted by the cadres.
“We received a report of murder in which Stephen Kalipa, aged 20, is reported to have been stabbed with a knife by an unknown person suspected to have been among UPND cadres. This happened today, 02 April 2017 at about 12:00 hours at Mbasela Market after police dispersed the group that had an unlawful procession. The victim who was rushed to UTH was pronounced dead upon arrival. We have since instituted investigations in the matter,” said Mwata-Katongo.
“We also received another report in which Bertha Zuze, 21, also of Kanyama compound was assaulted by suspected UPND cadres at about 13:00 hours today and a plank is alleged to have been used. We would like to warn all unruly cadres that police will not watch them harming innocent citizens but see to it that all those behind these crimes are brought to book.”
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