Lundazi Central Independent member of parliament Lawrence Nyirenda has been accused of championing violence against the opposition UPND campaign team in Munkomba ward in Lundazi ahead of next month’s by-elections.
According to both the UPND media team and UPND Eastern Lundazi campaign chairman Felix Ngoma, Nyirenda on Tuesday led a gang of violent PF cadres to attack the UPND campaign centre in Munkomba ward.
Ngoma further alleged that the violent PF cadres, who were under the command of Nyirenda and his Lundazi Information and Publicity Secretary Potipher Mbewe, have been paid huge sums of money to wreak havoc in Mukomba.
“One of the properties which they smashed was the house for Mr Mvula who is the campaign manager for John Mtonga, the candidate for UPND in Munkomba ward. We also have Raphael Lungu, who is the Lundazi District IPS, and this is a person whose house was smashed and broken into. For Mr Mvula, it was the shop, which was smashed and looted! And all this is coordinated by the Lundazi Independent member of parliament Hon. Nyirenda and they are coordinating together with this Potipher Mbewe, the IPS for PF in Lundazi. So, that video that you have seen happened yesterday (Tuesday),” Ngoma explained.
He said the PF cadres, who were armed with stones, sticks and other offensive weapons followed UPND members at the campaign centre and smashed windows of a Toyota Harrier BAH 8822 as well as damaged the house of the campaign manager before looting one of their member’s shop.
And the UPND media team said the matter had been reported to the police.
UPND said by embracing violence, the PF has once again squandered an opportunity to prove its worth and relevance to remain in power and rule the people of Zambia through democratic and peaceful elections.
Efforts to get a comment from Eastern Province Commissioner of Police Alex Chilufya proved futile as his phone went unanswered.
But Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Public Relations Manager Margaret Chimanse said no reports of violence were recorded, according to the report submitted to the Commission by the security chief.
“We have not heard those reports yet, we have just been having meetings where the security chief reported that there is nothing to that effect. Unless we check to find out what the latest is [otherwise] I cannot comment much,” Chimanse said in a brief interview.
Meanwhile, Nyirenda did not answer his phone when contacted to explain his side of the story.