Patriotic Front cadres yesterday attacked UPND candidate for the Chilanga by-election Charmaine Musonda and her entourage as they were heading to address a community in Chimanja ward.
UPND campaign manager Obvious Mwaliteta confirmed this in an interview saying Musonda and four youths were injured during the fracas.
“Around 14:00 hours, PF cadres attacked our candidate. They stoned her vehicle and she was also injured in the process. She is swollen and there are four youths who were also stoned. This happened in Chimanja ward, at the end of Chimanja ward where our candidate and three vehicles were going to address the community. They didn’t even address the community because they were stopped, they were stoned and two vehicles have been damaged, youths were injured and she is also swollen on her body. They have already gotten medical reports and reported the matter to the police and right now, they are going to the clinic,” Mwaliteta narrated.
“She is very traumatized and this is not good for a woman. Things like this discourage women from joining politics. So please, we don’t want this in Chilanga. But the Zambian people are watching and if we are not going to be strong as UPND, we end up losing not because people don’t like us, but because of violence. But for how long are we going to be defeated because of violence?”
He urged PF campaign manager Jean Kapata to tame her youths saying it was the people of Chilanga who would suffer in the process.
“But my message to those in PF is that we are just the same. It’s just that them they are in the ruling party. They have the power to stop their youths from this violence, Chilanga does not need violence, Chilanga needs issues. The suffering of the people in Zambia needs divergent views to be heard and accepted. It is through these campaigns where we will be sending the messages and the people can choose which leaders can deliver what they want. As UPND, we are not ready for this violence. We know the people of Chilanga are not violent people, they are peaceful and hard working, let’s go and talk about fertilizer, why it was not delivered on time, let them go and explain to the people why the ambulances were bought at $288,000, because these are the questions the people want to be answered,” he said.
“Let them go and explain to the people why a lorry, not a truck, was bought at $1 million and not $200,000, they should go and explain instead of bringing violence to Chilanga. I want to tell the campaign manager Jean Kapata to stop this violence and discipline her youths because this violence will hurt the people of Chilanga who are innocent.”
And Mwaliteta charged that the PF was committing contempt of court by campaigning using President Edgar Lungu-branded vehicles.
“Yesterday, they were campaigning, their vehicles were in front and a land cruiser for police was behind, they were moving with police escort. We are not moving with police escort and yet the police are supposed to look after all of us. They are already campaigning using 2021 branded vehicles, that’s contempt of court because the matter in court. All the vehicles here in Chilanga are written ‘ECL for continuity 2021’,” said Mwaliteta.