Police in Lusaka have warned UPND youths planning to hold a rally in Mandevu this Sunday not to go ahead as doing so would be against the law.
The UPND youths, through deputy youth chairperson Gilbert Liswaniso, have since appealed police’s decision to reject their notice for a rally to Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo.
And Liswaniso says the police have refused to clear their notice for a rally in Mandevu because “they fear to be fired”.
Lusaka Province Police Commissioner Nelson Phiri said the decision to turn down the notice for the Mandevu rally by the UPND youths was because of the security situation in the constituency “caused by hunger and electricity load shedding”.
“We advise them not to go ahead as they will come into conflict with the law. They will be doing that against the law. You know when somebody goes against the law, you know what it is,” said Phiri.
But Liswaniso said the police fear dismissal if they allow the UPND youths to hold their rally.
“The excuse which the police are giving us is that that there is hunger, there is load shedding in the compounds. The message you are going to tell the people in Mandevu can cause people to riot. But you cannot stop people from rioting; they can riot anytime they feel like. But for a peaceful rally, it is a way to engage the people of Zambia, to calm them, in which we told them that ‘that is our message’. And they cannot stop us from organising our party,” Liswaniso said.
“The police told us to go and appeal to Kampyongo, [which has been done]. We want to follow all the channels so that tomorrow, no one will point a finger to the UPND that we didn’t follow procedure but we need to have a rally in Lusaka. Even indoor meetings, they are stopping us. Why should they stop us?”
He has asked Kampyongo to speedily hear their appeal and allow them to have the rally on September 15, 2019 and further contended that the reasons advanced by Phiri were insufficient.
“The UPND is a peaceful party that has a track record of holding peaceful rallies and made it easy for the preservation of law and order,” said Liswaniso.