Chiengi FDD member of parliament Given Katuta says Patriotic Front cadres who went to protest at Parliament on Thursday threatened to rape her and accused her of being UPND.
And Katuta has advised UPND and other opposition political parties not to participate in the Bahati by-elections, saying allowing the PF go unopposed will prevent occurrences of violence which the ruling party has planned for.
Narrating the ordeal in an interview, Katuta said even the female cadres participated in insulting her.
“When I arrived at the entrance to the National Assembly [on Thursday afternoon), I found PF cadres, a lot of them. The police were also that side and the National Assembly security of course were inside there. So when I got at that signage which says ‘Do Not Park here’ when you are about to get into the National Assembly premises… when I realized… because I was rushing and I just saw a lot of them, so I slowed down because they blocked the way, then I tried get to the right hand side so that I could go in. But they started insulting me, these feminine insults, big insults. They said nichi opposition ici Mayo, cha UPND (they accused me of belonging to UPND). Then they continued to insult me and they were very young men. They said they could sleep with me right there and they could rape me, but using that vulgar language,” Katuta said.
“So when I realised they didn’t want to give to me a way, I thought I could reason with them and so I brought down the passenger’s window on my car and asked them politely if they could allow me to pass since I was late. Oh, that was an insult to them, they insulted me, they started hitting on the vehicle. Then they decided that they would not allow me but one of them who was wearing a stripped T-shirt advised me to close the window and move to the other side of the road. You can imagine, even women who were there started insulting me. Then I could see honourable Kakubo, MP for Kapiri behind me, then they wanted to allow him to by-pass me but then I said ‘this is dangerous’. So those people started hitting on our vehicles both but I don’t think they insulted him the way they insulted me. So after struggling with them for a while, I finally managed to get inside but I was so shaken actually.”
And Katuta called on opposition parties to boycott the Bahati by-election saying doing so would prevent violence.
“We are talking about violence which took place in Sesheke. In Chiengi the PF did the same thing, they brought boys who even burnt one of our boys there and the government has never done anything up to now. So now, who is the violent here? Are they sure it’s UPND or it’s them? How can we have the government honestly, sending cadres to attack opposition members of parliament just because they are in the opposition? They don’t even know whether MMD, FDD, all they have been told is ‘go and harass opposition members of parliament’. Even within UPND, it’s not everyone who went to Sesheke, so they cannot generalize that,” said Katuta.
“Am even disappointed to read that the PF secretary general is talking about engaging the police to ask as to why the police beat up those boys in Sesheke, honestly, if he sent the cadres to harass all the opposition members of parliament at the entrance in the name of peaceful protests, but if it’s peaceful protests then they are supposed to give way, they are not supposed to block way. And why come to the national assembly? To protest for who? What kind of nation is this where cadres go to Parliament to harass innocent people? And my advice to UPND over that Bahati election is that let them not even waste their energy to participate in Bahati. If I had a choice, I would encourage all the political parties in the opposition not to participate, so that there would be no violence, there would be no campaign, the guy [from PF] would just go unopposed because that’s what the PF want.”