Northern Province Police Commissioner Richard Mweene says UPND and PF officials yesterday clashed in Chilubi constituency and were engaged in a punch-up.
Meanwhile, the two political parties blame each other for instigating the violent incident.
In an interview, Thursday, Mweene, said during the fracas, two cadres from each political party were assaulted while some UPND property was damaged.
He, however, said no one had been arrested because the suspects were on the run.
“The fact is that they clashed! It was around 10:30 in Matipa Village, they were in close proximity so they provoked each other and clashed! In the process, two PF cadres were assaulted and two UPND cadres were equally assaulted. We took them to Matipa Rural Health Centre where they were treated and discharged. Currently, the quartet are out of danger. In the process, four window panes of the house where UPND cadres are lodging were destroyed; the value has not yet been established. The front and rear screens of a (Toyota) Rav 4 motor vehicle, registration of number ALX 8486 property of a Mr Stanlous Chizi, whose residential address has not yet been established, the value of the damaged window screens is K5,200. And the front window screen of a Mitsubishi Pajero, registration number AL 6304 valued at K10,000, the owner of the vehicle has not yet been established. So far, we are investigating because those who perpetrated these cases have run away and we are hunting for them,” said Mweene.
And in an interview, UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka said PF officials were the ones who followed them to their camp and indiscriminately destroyed cars and windows, while severely beating their campaign team.
“We have been severely attacked! All the vehicles we have in the campaign team have been destroyed by PF cadres in full view of GBM at Matipa area! The house has been destroyed, windows shattered! I had to be locked in just to be hidden. People have been severely beaten! They are doing that because the police cannot do anything. I don’t know what to do. The Police Commissioner is not picking my calls, I don’t know where to run to! How can you have a police officer refusing to pick up a call from any citizen? Because there can be a call from anyone who might have information about something, especially that he knows I am the one that is calling him. Whether he likes it or not, I am his leader, I am a potential Minister of Home Affairs. In the same way that he was boasting that he had a wonderful meeting with Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya, why cant he meet me?” asked Mucheleka
“Why has he hijacked the elections because the elections are run by Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and not Zambia Police? Even the weapons that he is alleging there were found with, where were they found? At what spot?Where they’re attacking someone? How many times have we complained? The police are lying! Our people are being beaten. They have taken all our bicycles! Zambia Police have completely taken over the powers of ECZ! The police conniving with PF are raiding our centres where people are gathered. The campaign manager on the island, Mr Yambayamba and two others, have been arrested; it is now 48 hours, we don’t know why they have arrested them, they have not told us. They went to the place where they were staying and picked them. All we know is that they have been taken to Luwingu.Unless they claim that somebody has been attacked, they went and raided a home without a search warrant.”
But PF vice chairperson for mobilization Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba said UPND had provoked the ruling party by setting up a camp too close to their own.
“Tell that Mucheleka, foolish nephew of mine, not to bring me to issues where he knows I wasn’t there. Where he is and where I am are too different camps! Why has he followed me? He is asking for trouble! In any case, what has happened is that, I am told that they started bringing down all our flags at our camping centre…when our people confronted them and started asking them ‘why they were doing that,’ Mucheleka and his group started attacking my people! I am told one is hospitalized, the other one is also battling for his life,” narrated GBM in an interview from Chilubi.
“I am in the bush. I have just asked some people to go there and see to it that he is taken to the hospital. I am sure Mucheleka is trying to ask for trouble. I would like to appeal to him that he should get away from where we are. They have put their camp 150 metres away from our camp; we have been there for two weeks; they only set camp a day before yesterday (Tuesday), but they want to compete with us? How do you put two campaign centres next to each other? He wants to lie to HH that because we are being frustrated by PF that is why we have lost; they have no grip; they have no support. So, HH should investigate and find out what exactly is happening; he should not be cheated! Typical of UPND, they think they have won on social media, but they are not on the ground and no one wants them here!”