Police in Chingola say they can’t give the opposition United Party for National Development a permit to hold a card renewal exercise because the opposition party is having intra-party differences.

The UPND had applied for a police permit to have its card renewal exercise in Nchanga Constituency of Chingola District on Saturday December 8, 2018.

But the Nchanga officer-in-charge, a K. Ngulube, wrote to the Chingola District commanding officer saying the UPND could not be allowed to hold the event because it was having intra-party differences.

“We wish to inform you that the United Party for National Development in Chingola district under Nchanga Constituency, have notified this office to have a party card renewal exercise on December 8, 2018 at the Tours Nest Nchanga starting at 14:00 hours to 18:00 hours. However, we object that they hold such a meeting. This is due to the intraparty differences in the UPND in Chingola District. Therefore, we will not approve, because the same may be a recipe for public disorder. We, therefore, intend to inform them about our observation,” wrote Ngulube.

UPND Copperbelt Chairman Elisha Matambo, however, said in an interview that it was unprofessional for police to discuss party politics.

“Since when did the police start to be involved in party politics. Why should they act like a branch of the PF? We know that the police just want to deny us having these exercises because of the massive support we have now on the Copperbelt. So we know even the police are now scared of the UPND, but that should not be the case. Police should be there to protect everyone,” said Matambo.

“Yes, differences in any party are there. That should not bother the police. Even in PF where they are having elections, we have seen punches and even their elections suspended but did the police stop them with other meetings? Let the police do their job and not join politics.”