Violence characterised voting in the Roan Parliamentary by elections yesterday.
The fracas began around 02:00 hours when some NDC officials, who were reportedly in transit to deliver food for their poll agents, met some PF officials along the way and a fight ensued.
In the process, PF cadres, whom NDC officials say were led by Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo, injured four opposition party cadres and vandalised their vehicle.
After the fracas, however, Lusambo reported a case of malicious damage to his motor vehicle to Mpatamatu Police as the injured NDC officials were seeking medical attention at Roan General Hospital.
Police swung into action to investigate the case of malicious damage to Lusambo’s vehicle and arrested one NDC cadre whom they say was found at the scene with some offensive weapons.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga confirmed that Lusambo reported a case of malicious damage to the police.
“A case of malicious damage was reported by Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo today around 04:30 hours. The reporter (Lusambo) was on patrol checking on electoral malpractices. He alleged that he came across a vehicle registration number BAE 9962. From there, offensive weapons were discovered. These were found with offensive weapons which include two machetes,” said Katanga as she displayed some machetes.
Katanga, however, withheld the name of the apprehended NDC official saying further investigations were underway.
Meanwhile, after getting their wounds stitched, the four NDC officials, Gastone Mwila, Obert Kasongo, Vincent Mwansa and Lyson Phiri, proceeded to report the matter to police.
In an interview, National Democratic Congress (NDC) national youth chairperson Charles Kabwita charged that Lusambo was the one who was spearheading violence.
“I can confirm to you that Bowman (Lusambo) led a group of PF cadres who injured four of our members in the early morning and he was in the forefront. The matter has already been reported to the Police, and the medical reports have been given to our people, they have been attended to by the medical personnel. They are now at Mpatamato police giving statements.Voting is currently going on well except the intimidation from Bowman Lusambo who is still beating up people. As NDC, we feel that this is not only coming from Bowman but from state house, because Bowman is supervised by the head of state. And this is what Edgar Lungu is known for; this is the full description of Edgar Lungu. Because if I were President Lungu, I was not going to keep such a minister,” Kabwita said.
He said the elections were not free and fair, adding that ECZ should disqualify the PF from the by-election.
“It’s not a free and fair election, and we are just hopeful that the Electoral Commission of Zambia can intervene and ensure that measures of punishing or disqualifying the PF from this election are taken, we are hopeful that the human rights commission will also come and ascertain whether or not human rights are not being violated, we are hopeful that the Anti-Corruption will also come and see how Bowman is throwing money on poll day,” said Kabwita.
Efforts to get a comment from Lusambo failed by press time as his phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, at a media briefing in the afternoon yesterday, NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili said Katanga was acting as a shield for PF.
“I am extremely disappointed with the conduct of Charity Katanga. My heart bleeds that we have Katanga as Commissioner of Police for Copperbelt and Zambia. It hurts to see how Katanga can reduce herself to be a PF cadre and defender,” said Kambwili.