Police in Lusaka have surrounded Hakainde Hichilema’s house in New Kasama and are seeking to arrest the opposition UPND leader for failing to give way to President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade in Mongu.
And Police beat Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo, Muvi TV journalist Alex Musokotwane and Kalan Muchima of Prime TV, while Sylvia Masebo, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, lawyers Jack Mwiimbu and Mulambo Haimbe, among other UPND officials, managed to escape.
Armed police officers sealed off access to HH’s residence around 21:00 hours and restricted people from entering or leaving the yard.
When GBM, Masebo and several other UPND members of parliament arrived at the entrance to Hichilema’s yard, police stopped them from going ahead, saying no one was allowed inside.
While police were restraining Masebo’s team from passing, Nkombo arrived with HH’s lawyers but they were not granted access neither.
It was at that point that an altercation ensued between police and the UPND MPs – with Nkombo insisting that he was taking lawyers to meet HH.
Police then started beating up Nkombo using gun butts, before bundling him on a police van.
The officers then turned to the rest of the UPND MPs, giving Nkombo an opportunity to escape into the nearby maize field.
The confrontation continued until around 23:10 hours when police fired teargas canisters to disperse the growing number of UPND officials and supporters who were still arriving.
GBM, who had remained in the vehicle, unnoticed by the police, was immediately whisked away, as Masebo and the remaining MPs scampered into safety.
The former Chongwe member of parliament narrated how she survived the teargas ordeal.
Take a listen.
After noticing that Musokotwane and Muchima were capturing the confrontation on camera, police pounced on the two news reporters, beat them up, bundled them on a police van and took them to Woodlands Police Station.
Musokotwane narrated that the police forced them to remove their shoes before they were searched.
“They took us to Woodlands Police Station, and on the way they were saying ‘we will put you in cells so that you see what happened to ZAF Flight Sergeant [Choongwe] then you will report properly…’,” said Musokotwane.
“When we arrived at Woodlands, they made us remove shoes, belts and made us sit. They searched us everywhere and they said they were not going to release us until we surrender the footage that we took. But they could not find it. So they released us.”
Musokotwane, however, said police did not beat him or his Prime TV colleague while at the police station.
Meanwhile, Nkombo who had disappeared into the maize fields found his way to the University Teaching Hospital where he was medicated.
He narrated from his treatment room that the police wanted to kill him.
Take a listen
Earlier before the police action, PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri said the ruling party had the capacity to treat HH like a rat and confine him to his New Kasama house.
Mumbi asked the Inspector General of police to inform her party if police had failed to protect President Lungu so that the ruling party’s security team could take up the challenge.
The PF official’s sentiments follow an incident which happened in Mongu on Saturday where HH’s entourage did not give way to President Lungu’s motorcade on Limulunga Road during the Kuomboka ceremony.